I'm sure many of you have heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge, but for those of you who have not, the Ice Bucket Challenge started in 2014 where a bucket of ice water is poured over a person's head.
This was done as a way to promote awareness and raise money for a disease called ALS. Around $115 million in donations was raised to fund further research. But what exactly is ALS? According to the ALS Society of Canada, ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people as the brain becomes unable to communicate with the muscles of the body. After a period of time, someone with ALS will start to lose muscles as they break down due to the lack of use and will eventually lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow and eventually breathe. There is currently no cure to this disease.
As some of you may know, at the beginning of the school year, I lost my grandfather to ALS. Honestly it was the hardest thing I've had to go through, especially since I was here at school and wasn't able to spend his last few months with him. As hard as this was, I learned many valuable lessons, and today I wanted to share with you the one I feel is most significant.
The thing that I learned from this experience is to never take anything or anyone for granted and I feel that this is a valuable lesson especially during these hard times. I believe that we forget how fortunate we truly are to be able to attend class in person, play sports almost every day, be surrounded by amazing people and so many other things that we take for granted. We have just over a month left, and I know that many of you will feel stress and feel down, but just remember how lucky you truly are to be here. Don't waste your last few months counting down the days until you leave because, trust me, in a few years you'll look back and wish you had not taken this place and the people for granted. As Frank Sonnenberd said, “Appreciate what you have, while you have it, or you’ll learn what it meant to you after you lose it.”