Polycystic Kidney Disease. Have you heard of it? If so, did you hear about it from me? I have it. So does my mom. So does her youngest brother. So does my cousin. So did my grandpa. It stinks. 3/5 of us have had transplants. One may be in my future and the future of my cousin. There is no cure. And not a lot of people know the disease exists.
I was challenged by my friend Katy to do the Ice Bucket Challenged. I gladly accepted for several reasons. A colleague of mine lost her husband to ALS. I have heard what he went through. I have watched the countless videos of ALS victims sharing their thoughts on the challenge. I'm about to make a donation. My husband was challenged by our son, who desperately wanted to participate. Before we let him do it just for fun, I explained it to him. I used PKD as my example. "You know the disease mommy has in her kidneys? ALS is another disease. We're doing this to raise awareness so that other people will take some time to learn about it and give money to help scientists learn how to develop medicines to help it." I'm not saying that to brag about my parenting, which is often less than stellar, I"m telling you because this challenge HAS helped raise awareness. Before people started dumping ice on their heads all over Facebook,, I maybe thought about ALS once every few months, when it happened to come up in converstaion. Now, I think about it multiple times a day.
I hope someday that PKD gets its "15 minutes" in the spotlight. I can tell you right now that if someone told me they'd make a sizable donation to the PKD foundation if I balanced kidney beans on my nose for 15 seconds, I'd do it in a heartbeat. There are a LOT of diseases that need to be brought to public attention. Recognizing them one at a time is so much better than ignoring them altogether.
If you choose not to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, cool! Totally your call, and I very much respect that, no matter what your resasons. There is not really a wrong or right where it's concerned. I just hope that it brings to mind a disease or challenge that IS close to your heart, at the very least.
We are all put on this earth to help each other. All we have to help ourselves get through life is the wonderful grace of God and each other. We need to spend more time gently supporting each other, in whatever way we're able.