In this video, a man recently diagnosed with ALS (whose grandmother had the disease and whose mother is an ALS patient) explains why this "silly" viral campaign is so incredibly important. You'll want to have a tissue handy because, after he completes his own challenge (in a bikini!), he explains how the disease has impacted his life in the most personal way.
Anthony Carbajal first jokes, "Okay, that was probably the most embarrassing thing that I've ever done in my entire life," before he shifts gears and explains through tears, "I've been so terrified of ALS my entire life because it runs in my family."
He continues, "My grandmother had it. She was a second mother to me. My mother was diagnosed when I was in high school and five months ago, I was diagnosed at 26 years old. ALS is so, so f**king scary, you have no idea."
Anthony explains, "I hate talking about [ALS]. That's probably why nobody talks about it because... it's so challenging to see, and to talk about. Nobody wants to see a depressing person that's dying... they don't want to talk about it. They don't want their day ruined."
His message is directed at the critics of the challenge, as he assures, "I promise your newsfeed will go back to cat videos and 'Let It Go' covers, but right now, the ALS community has the main spotlight," adding, "And for once in my entire life, I've seen it in the forefront."
While discussing how devastating and costly the disease is, he also expresses his gratitude for those taking part in the challenge and what it truly means to him: "This is the first successful advocacy we've ever really, really, really had and I'm so, so, so grateful. You have no idea how every single challenge makes me feel, lifts my spirits, lifts every single ALS patient's spirits. You're really, truly making a difference."
Keep those ice bucket challenge videos coming. And many thanks to Anthony for sharing his emotional story.