To the editor: Michael Hiltzik does a disservice to organizations conducting research on “rare” diseases. ( “A cold look at the ice bucket challenge,” Column, Aug. 20)
It is precisely because the incidence of the disease is low that the ALS Assn. gets a tiny fraction of a sliver of federal research funds, and must depend on what Hiltzik condescendingly calls “stunt philanthropy” to raise awareness and research dollars.
You don’t have to “give a bit more thought” to where your money is going. It’s already going to big-ticket diseases.
Michelle Gee, Piedmont, Calif.
To the editor: A fad gone viral is very likely to reach people who otherwise might not be giving to any particular cause. If this challenge has caught their attention and made them think about this need, who is a columnist to say that others should give elsewhere?
So-called rare diseases need as much or more attention than more widespread ones, by their very nature.
There are so many useless and even horrifying things that go viral. Do not douse this one with the ice water of your negativity.
Elise Power, Garden Grove
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