In 2002, Park Seung Il, the youngest basketball coach in Korea, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis–also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a disease that weakens the muscles of a person which causes them to lose function of every muscle in the body. They cannot control what their body does or move in any sort of way because their muscles become stiff and all motor function is lost. This disease is fatal, it affects the respiratory muscles and can stop breathing or it can affect the swallowing muscles and one can die by malnutrition and dehydration. Unfortunately, there is no cure to this disease.
Park Seung Il has been fighting this disease for sixteen years. In 2014, Korea has decided to take place in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, including many celebrities such as Sean, Won Bin, Hwang Jung Min, and Kim So Hyun. This challenge requires people to get a bucket of ice cold water and dump it on their heads in less than 24 hours after they are nominated. If they fail to do it under 24 hours they are to donate one hundred dollars towards finding a cure for the disease.
In 2018, one of the first to start this challenge, Sean, has challenged people again in Korea by recording himself doing the challenge again in front of Park Seung Il. After this recording, many people in Korea started doing it themselves by nominating others. Many celebrities in Korea have decided to take part in this too by uploading videos of themselves on their social media accounts doing this ice bucket challenge.
Sean’s revival of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is one of the many reasons that the hospital for ALS is going to undergo construction. Sean said on an interview from E-news Exclusive, “In 2014, so many people participated in the movement and donated a lot, and we finally purchased the land where we’ll build the hospital. I started the Ice Bucket Challenge again to build Korea’s first ALS care hospital brick by brick and make all ALS patients’ dream come true.” He is very hopeful to cure this disease and was especially motivated by Park Seung Il.
After the nominations made by Sean, many people are willingly accepting the challenge. Many videos of celebrities are doing this challenge are gaining popularity by fans. People started to do it hoping to fulfill the dreams of those that want to find a cure.
Rachel Choe, Grade 9
Cypress High School