(Photo by Elise Amendola, AP/nbcnews.com)

by Jade Hanley

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS for short, is the disease that has been highlighted across all forms of social media this past summer season.

ALS, according to alsa.org, is the degeneration of motor neurons in a person’s brain and spinal cord; they lose control of muscles, and eventually become paralyzed, leading to death.

This neurodegenerative disease has quickly spread amongst family and friends through the Ice Bucket Challenge that has spread amongst thousands of people to raise money and awareness about ALS.

For the actual challenge, a person pours a bucket of ice and water over themselves. This is to recreate the experience of someone who has ALS just for a brief moment. Then you challenge three other people to do the challenge as well. There are some variations on this, but typically, if they do it in less than 24 hours since being challenged, they donate $10 to als.org. If not, they donate $100.

Alsa.org recommends that the challenge isn’t for everyone saying, “the ice bucket challenge may not be suitable for small children, the elderly, anyone in poor health or animals of any kind, so please use good judgment.”

The ALS Association has raised $94.3 million since July 29, which is astounding compared to the usual $2.7 million last year. The new awareness and increase in new donors has had a huge effect for the association, though their mission stays the same.

Now it’s your turn: grab $10, a bucket, ice, and pour. You’ve got 24 hours!

All donations to the ALS Association can be made to alsa.org.