As I posted last night, my daughter Namine was the first of us to participate in the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. One of Jessica’s friends challenged her, and Namine herself challenged me.
But Jessica and I both agree that raising awareness, while good in and of itself, is not enough. ALS has been grossly underfunded for the past 75 years, according to an interview with an ALS Association spokesperson this morning. (I think it was Carrie Munk? I don’t remember.) So in addition to participating in the challenge, we plan on donating to the Wisconsin chapter of ALSA.
But there is a sticking point for us, and for many of our pro-life friends. The ALSA contributes to embryonic stem cell research. Jessica and I don’t agree with this practice, and we feel it’s against our moral beliefs.
"All donors to the ALS Association can stipulate where their money goes and can ask that it not pay for embryonic stem cell research."
A spokesperson from the ALSA said in an interview that “all donors to the ALS Association can stipulate where their money goes and can ask that it not pay for embryonic stem cell research,” so that’s what we plan on doing. The ALSA requests that donations be made to local chapters; for us in Wisconsin, that means going to ALSA Wisconsin.
If you plan on donating, but you’re still uncomfortable with giving money to ALSA, there are other avenues of contribution. Another local (to us) organization is the Gleason Initiative Foundation, which is focused on care for individuals and does not contribute to stem cell research.