ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Recently I was nominated to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by a good friend from my high school days – Dan “The Man” Ryan, a Captain in the US Navy. Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 posted the first ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It has proven very popular and has helped raise millions of dollars in the fight for a cure.

Who in turn would get the call out? I wanted to put some thought into it. There are so many friends, colleagues, and a choice millennial or two that made it tough to pare down. My first choice was my good friend Matt Lane; ALS has touched Matt’s life in a very heartfelt way – he lost his Mom to this devastating disease.

I wanted to help reach out to other parts of the country as well, so I set my sites on the west coast – California here we come! Mark Settles, a lifelong friend I met in the second grade when my family lived in Huntington Beach would get the nod. Mark and I also share the fact that we are both survivors of the same cancer – squamous cell carcinoma. Jim Peters was my next choice, Jim and I became friends when we both attended the University of San Diego and reconnected through Facebook about five years ago. Jim and his family were very kind to me when I was a student alone during the holidays and 3000 miles from home.

In addition, I also nominated my entire team at CFS, Inc. to accept the challenge. Knowing firsthand how devastating an illness can be to not only the patient but also their family, friends, and colleagues, I decided it would be great to nominate them all with one addition to the challenge. I told them that I would match their donations dollar for dollar. It is such a noble cause – I am excited to see how many team members will accept the challenge!

Now to the actual challenge! My daughter Amanda and wife Kerrie helped make sure I followed through at the end of a very hectic work day. After watching many people cringe from the ice-cold water, I have to admit that I was more than a little apprehensive (they did catch me trying to fill the bucket with hot water and promptly dumped it out).

Kerrie would handle the camera, Amanda was in charge of the ice bucket, and my other daughter Madison was at twirling/baton practice and would edit the results later on the iMac (she added the music and cut off some of the beginning because my wife neglected to yell “Action” and caught me doing some type of nervous dance).

It all went well – I spoke, Kerrie shot, and Amanda loaded up the ice and then, standing on a milk crate, hoisted up the heavy bucket subsequently dumping ice-cold water down the back of my head, neck, and back – I don’t recall the cold icy water as much as I remember the thud and pain of the bucket bouncing off the top of the head – Ouch! Perhaps a moment to add to the video montages of “When the ice bucket challenge went wrong”.

For more information on ALS, the Ice Bucket Challenge, or to donate, visit their website at

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