ANU academic raises the profile of motor neurone disease by taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.
1 September 2014

Dr Paul Cooper has joined thousands around the world using Twitter, Facebook and other networks to share videos of themselves taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Dr Cooper teaches Muscle and Movement in Biol1008 (Human Biology) and said the Challenge illustrated the importance of nerves for muscle function and helped to raise the profile of lesser known diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). “I want to make people aware that families and individuals are having to cope with diseases that have nowhere near the support of cancer and heart disease,” Dr Cooper said.

Dr Cooper took the challenge on August 22 in the science courtyard and raised $150 from staff and students who wanted to see him get soaked. The challenge has been called one of the most viral philanthropic social media campaigns in history. Since the inaugural Challenge in Australia a month ago, 30,000 new supporters have donated more than $1.5 million to MND Australia and state MND associations.

Helping to raise funds for charity or medical research is not new to Dr Cooper but he said it is not usually so public. “I think we must act for the better good of all, whether it is by undertaking the science, teaching about or simply being aware of our social responsibilities to others,” he said.

For information on the disease and what areas are covered by the donation can be found at MND Australia.

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