I have always been the odd kind of person that if something is extremely popular or if everyone seems to be doing it, I tend to become skeptical and rebellious. That didn’t always turn out so well for me at times when I was attending a Christian High School, but it is why I refused to read A Purpose Driven Life when it seemed everyone else had bought multiple copies of the book. Millions of Americans are flocking to social media to show their friends a video of their “ice bucket challenge.” Don’t ask me to join in just yet, but there is a bigger reason than because everyone is doing it.
ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive terminal disease that attacks the nervous and muscular system. As the nerves die, muscles weaken including the muscles for breathing which is the cause for most ALS deaths. There is no cure, and very little that can even slow the awful disease’s progression. Indiana pro-family leaders lost a very dear friend to ALS a few years ago who was the head of Right to Life of Indianapolis. To this day, I can still recall Joan Byrum‘s voice in my mind as we often discussed issues concerning the life of the unborn, marriage, and divorce.
The “ice bucket challenge” has raised well over $50 million for the ALS Association. Unfortunately, the group is a supporter of embryonic stem cell research. They are also supportive of using the cells of aborted babies for research. For example, the ALS Association has helped to fund a trial with those components at the University of Michigan and Emory University through a company called Neuralstem. In fact, all the trials performed by Neuralstem involve cells from abortion. Project ALS also funds embryonic stem cell research.
Thankfully, after the cold shower, there are alternatives where you can send your ALS donations that use only ethical stem cell sources for research. For example there is the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (MSCTC) at the University of Kansas Medical Center that is only using adult stem cells for ALS trials and research: http://www.kumc.edu/msctc.html
Here are some other alternatives working on ALS research with adult stem cells:
- Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayo.edu/research/labs/regenerative-neurobiology/projects/therapy-amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als
- John Paul II Medical Research Institute: http://www.jp2mri.org
- Adult Stem Cell Technology Center (ASCTC) https://sites.google.com/site/adultstemcelltechnologycenter/