Target: Terence R. Flotte, Dean, University Of Massachusetts Medical School
Goal: Congratulate University for discovering a scientific breakthrough that could help cure ALS.
An internet trend by the name of “The Ice Bucket Challenge” reached the headlines everywhere. People were dumping buckets of ice water on their heads all over the world and it was all for a great cause; to raise awareness of ALS, or Lou Gherig’s Disease. The world was so engulfed in this challenge that there was even a ForceChange petition created to thank the participants of the challenge. The goal was to raise as much money for ALS research as possible so that we may be able to come closer to curing this currently incurable disease. The good news is, we are now closer to a cure than we ever have been before.
While the disease isn’t cured, scientists with Project MinE at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered the gene that causes it. This is a major leap in medical science and allows us to be able to study ALS more closely and figure out ways to prevent the disease by targeting the gene responsible. Since one of the biggest obstacles in the battle against ALS was figuring out what causes the disease, knowing the gene responsible opens up countless doors that could eventually lead to figuring out a cure, something that was once thought to be impossible.
The best part about all of this, and the most seemingly unbelievable, is that if it weren’t for the Ice Bucket Challenge, this scientific breakthrough would have never been possible. That’s right, the internet craze that many called ridiculous, unnecessary, and counterproductive is directly responsible for the discovery of the gene that causes ALS. Once Project MinE had secured a $1,000,000 grant from the ALS Association/Ice Bucket Challenge, they were able to secure the equipment necessary to discover the gene they had been looking for all along.
Dear Dean Flotte,
As I’m sure you were very well aware, ALS is one of the most damaging and serious diseases that we encounter on a daily basis. Over 6,000 people are diagnosed each year and there is still no cure. However, thanks to your staff and the team behind Project MinE, we are now closer to ending this horrific illness.
Thanks to Project MinE, we have now discovered the gene that causes ALS and can now begin focusing on how to use that discovery to reverse or stop the effects of ALS. We may now even be able to find preventative measures to ensure that ALS can’t occur in someone’s body in the first place. This discovery opens up a world of new possibilities when it comes to treating diagnosing and curing ALS.
It’s also important to note that none of this would be possible without the millions of people who took the Ice Bucket Challenge around the world and helped raise enough money/awareness that this discovery was possible. The team behind Project MinE were the brains behind the discovery, but the Ice Bucket Challenge and all its participants were the muscle. If it weren’t for the Ice Bucket Challenge grant that funded Project MinE, we may still be sitting around wondering what causes ALS in the first place. Now we know for sure what causes this terrible illness and we can move forward towards trying to end ALS once and for all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz