Readers React
Letters to the editor and readers' opinions.
OpinionReaders React
Readers React

Don't throw cold water on the ALS ice bucket challenge

To the editor: Michael Hiltzik concedes that the degenerative condition ALS is a terrible disease with a fatal outcome. But, he says, it is a rare disease; he wonders if it is worth all this attention compared with other problems. ("A few (impolite) questions about the ice bucket challenge," Aug. 18)

ALS may be rare, but if it affects your family, then it isn't. My family watched my beautiful daughter in law, age 49, go through the stages of ALS to her ultimate death.

It is a horrific experience, particularly when you consider that the victim is locked in his or her body and at the end cannot even speak and is totally paralyzed. Most sufferers die from pneumonia or respiratory failure.

The rarity of a disease should not preclude more people donating money for research. As of today, there is no cure for ALS. If the Ice Bucket Challenge can make a difference, then those moved to donate should not be told to "give a bit more thought to where you donate your money."

Penny Neugroschl, Simi Valley


To the editor: Hats off to Hiltzik for having the courage to express his true feelings about the current fad to raise money for ALS research. He understands the horrors of ALS and that the money for research is most welcome.

But Hiltzik has very real problems with the here today, gone tomorrow ice-water craze, which should promote much serious discussion.

Hiltzik points out with great clarity that although ALS is a terrible killer, the incidence in the U.S. is very, very low, and there are myriad other charities out there that are, frankly, more important toward creating a better world.

Thus, posits Hitzik, not discounting the worthiness of ALS research, if all the money you will donate to charity this year goes to ALS, you should think a bit more about the destination of your donation. I agree wholeheartedly.

Joel Rapp, Los Angeles

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Battling racial bias with better education

    To the editor: Stanford psychology professor Jennifer Eberhardt's stunning findings on the effects that social biases regarding skin color have on basic perceptual processes is a marvelous example of creative thought and the importance of the behavioral sciences for society....

  • Give local elections the attention they deserve

    To the editor: Years ago, local elections — for school boards, city councils and special districts — in my part of California were held only in odd-numbered years. Only one special district vote was held in November in an even-numbered year, along with state and national...

  • 'Kent State' sweat shirt's timeliness

    To the editor: Although I agree with Meghan Daum's views on tawdry, obscene clothing being worn in public, I have to disagree with her take on the Kent State sweat shirt offered online by Urban Outfitters. Not only does it make a historical statement of government's past...

  • The law is on cyclists' side, readers say
    The law is on cyclists' side, readers say

    Los Angeles drivers are protective of their road space, an attitude made clear by the three letters published Thursday admonishing cyclists to follow traffic laws strictly and to get out of the way of faster cars in exchange for a state law giving them three feet of protection from passing...

  • Battered women deserve a safe haven in the U.S.

    To the editor: In 1939, the U.S. returned the Jewish passengers of the liner St. Louis to Germany, where many perished. Our current refugee protection system came into existence to prevent the return of those fleeing persecution to their deaths. ("In a world full of persecution, how many...

  • If only George W. Bush had 'vacillated' on Iraq

    To the editor: Jonah Goldberg is wrong about so many things in his column that rather than a writing a point-by-point rebuttal, I'll employ the Socratic method and ask a few pertinent questions. ("Obama is rushing into war against Islamic State," Op-Ed, Sept. 15)