Of ice buckets, ALS, and missing grandmothers

My father Allen Tharpe took the “ALS ice bucket challenge” today. While it was hilarious, it was also sad…

His mother, my grandmother whom I never got to meet (but apparently very much resemble) died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. That, in short, FUCKING SUCKS. June Tharpe was — from what I’ve learned over the years — a bad-ass. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to meet her just once, let alone to have gotten to deeply know and be shaped by her, as I have with my other wonderful grandmother.

I admit, I’ve been confused by the challenge. So… every time someone dumps water on their head ALS doesn’t get money? (Thankfully, like my father, people have been doing both.) And I’ve cringed watching people from California waste gallons of water during a drought. (So I made sure my father didn’t challenge anyone from Cali.)

But what can not be confused, what doesn’t make me cringe, is that ALS research just received something like 11 MILLION dollars. That is amazing. That is wonderful.

That gives me hope that one day another girl won’t have to cry every time she’s reminded of the bad-ass grandma she so much resembles that she never got to even meet. It gives me hope that another child won’t have to, not just watch, but nurse his dying mother whose body is giving out way before her time. Because with all these ice buckets and donations, one day, hopefully soon, we may be that much closer to finding a cure to this shitty no good disease.

Anyway, all this to say, I just skipped the ice bucket and donated money to ALS research, and if you want to do so as well, here’s the link: http://alsa.org/donate

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