Going against the flow…

I didn’t think it was a big deal. I just didn’t want to pour ice water over my head. I’ve always hated to be cold. At first, it was as simple as that.

As friends would post the “Ice Bucket Challenge” on Facebook, I was never “liking” or posting, hoping that I wouldn’t get noticed. Well…of course, finally I did. At first, I was like “oh crum, I don’t want to do that! I’ll just donate to ALS. I know friends who have lost a son to the dreaded disease, and I will just get it over with.” I mean, for heaven’s sakes, celebrities, church leaders, a past conservative president, sports stars, news and radio hosts, friends all over were doing it. What could it hurt? I’ll just have my husband video tape me tomorrow, and get it over with.

Well, I began thinking about it. I thought if I didn’t do it, then I would look like the “wet blanket” who doesn’t care about people who have ALS. Out of curiosity, I began looking up how much has been given and how the money gets spent. I really wondered if people who are nominated actually gave money, or if it was just fun to do, because of our recent heat wave. Did most people give, or just do the bucket challenge out of peer pressure? I looked it up. As of last night, 70.2 MILLION dollars had been given to the ALS foundation, in a month! YES, you read that right. In a month. This began July 27, 2014…

I began searching further. I found the video of the first man who did the bucket challenge in July, who has ALS himself. (see below) It was very touching. But later in the article, I began discovering some truths which bothered me.


Here is a link and a quote from a blog by Sunny Shell…


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) commonly known as Lou Gherig’s Disease, is a fatal neuromuscular disease that presently has no cure. No ALS patient is alike. Some people experience a slow degeneration, while others experience a more rapid degeneration of the motor neurons in their brain and spinal cord that disperse messages to allow voluntary muscle function throughout their body. Variant rates of motor neuron degeneration allows for patients diagnosed with ALS to live anywhere from three to five years after diagnoses.

The “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” campaign began with “SC Featured: Pete’s Challenge” shown in the video below.

Many people are taking the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”. I think this is a fun and fantastic way to promote awareness and garner financial support to help people afflicted with ALS, as well as finance research to find a cure.

A good way to accomplish this is to support organizations like Team Gleason. This organization was founded by Steve Gleason, former NFL player and current ALS braveheart. Their mission is to “Help provide individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services. Create a global conversation about ALS to ultimately find solutions and an end to the disease. Raise public awareness toward ALS by providing and documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with muscular diseases or injuries.”

Team Gleason partners with many organizations to accomplish their mission and one of them is Cord Blood Registry (CBR). Organizations like CBR only collect, store and use stem cells from the umbilical cords of newborn babies rather than harvest them from the helpless bodies of aborted, unborn babies.

A not so good way to promote awareness and support for ALS is to donate to the ALS Association. Though ALS Association promotes the betterment of current ALS patients and research to help find a cure, they do not promote or encourage the betterment of all life; specifically, precious and innocent unborn babies.

The ALS Association offers grants to many research organizations and one of them is the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS).

On the NEALS website, they state, “These stem cells have been engineered from the spinal cord of a single fetus electively aborted after eight weeks of gestation. The tissue was obtained with the mother’s consent.”

The extraction of stem cells from unborn babies is completely unnecessary for this or any research. There are many other options for stem cell research where the opportunity to live is not callously stripped away from a precious innocent baby.

I wholeheartedly support and encourage more prayer and awareness for ALS patients and their families to: acquire expensive equipment, obtain exemplary medical care and look forward to research that may discover a cure for this fatal disease. As a Christian, I unashamedly stand for life…all life. Because I am an image-bearer of the Creator and because He so graciously granted me the gift of repentance that leads to life-giving faith in Jesus Christ, I desire nothing less for any other human being—whether they reside inside or outside the womb. All life is precious and all life should be protected, supported and allowed to maintain the quality of life we all desire.”
End quote by Sunny Shell.
A few other links which I found, were interesting. I just ask that people educate themselves. I am not trying to shame the friends who have participated in this challenge. They were acting out of good faith, and having fun. I have had many beloved friends do this. There are NO hard feelings whatsoever.
See other links below.
I really do not like to be divisive and controversial. It scares me! But there are ways to give to fight ALS, without using embryonic stem cells. There are ways to research this and many awful diseases by using adult stem cells. So make sure where your money is going. I’m just asking you to educate yourselves instead of blindly giving to the ALS Association, which definitely admits to using the embryonic cells.
Yes, it is an awful disease. Yes, it would be horrendous if I had to see my dear family or friends go through this. But there are alternatives. I’m not an expert at this kind of thing in any way. That’s why I’ve looked up so many links. Please read the articles, and don’t get caught up in the comments from angry people or those who are not educated in the topic. They just pull you this way, and that way.  Just read the information from experts who have studied the topic. Let’s learn together. I’m just beginning to understand all this.
If you have no problem with using cells from unborn babies, then that is your moral choice. It is not mine. I believe God wants us to value ALL human life. And I believe that the moment a sperm cell and an egg are put together, it is human life.
If you have comments, I welcome them. I ask that you please keep them civil, polite, on topic, and that you use G-rated language, or they will be deleted. This is my blog. You may put nasty comments on your own platforms. This is not meant to create arguments. It is meant to create a different kind of awareness. Do your homework.
Please give. Give to those who need help. Give to those missions and charities which are dear to your heart. Give to your next door neighbor. Help and love on the family who is going through ALS, or any disease or tough time. Give and love some more. It makes the world a better place to live.

About Myrna Folkert

Myrna is an author who desires to use her gifts to glorify God. She's created this blog to tell stories of her childhood, musings about life, motherless daughters, grief and loss, faith in God, her family history, and facts about the Long QT syndrome. She also has a hearing condition called Tinnitus. Doing interviews with motherless daughters like herself are of great interest. Join in discussions by following this blog and commenting. She would love to hear your stories about life. Myrna is a Christ follower, wife, mother, sister, friend, aunt, and cousin. She was an elementary school teacher for 27 years; now works in her church, and a few other volunteer activities such as Hospice doing "Life Reviews" and Vigils. Myrna loves to read, write, listen to music, go to concerts, and take pictures. Her favorite pastime is boating with her husband near the beautiful shores of West Michigan.
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6 Responses to Going against the flow…

  1. Lois Blanchard says:

    a.. Dear Myrna: I am completely in accordance with you on this. Thank you for all the info. you posted, as well. Just watching these activities on TV were pretty convincing to give to further the research. But we are responsible to invest our monies wisely. Thank you, again, Aunt Lois


  2. myrnafolkert says:

    Thanks Wanda. I was pretty nervous to put it out there…but I know who I need to listen to.


  3. Wanda says:

    Thanks for a wonderful and thought provoking post.
    God bless,


  4. myrnafolkert says:

    That’s how I feel Bev! I try to listen to the Lord’s guidance and not the fads and pressures. We are all led in different directions. Thank you for commenting, Bev!


  5. Bev says:

    I don’t like to be “challenged” to give. I prefer the Lord to guide my giving whether financial, skills, time or otherwise. These challenges get out of hand. People died doing the ice water challenge this winter. My son checked in with a nasty cold after doing it. Don’t just do it because everyone else is doing it!


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