A couple years ago if someone asked me what ALS was I would’ve guessed it was a technical term related to authentication or some kind of claims security token. Then I found out I had a good friend who had Lou Gherigs disease, also known as ALS. (Read more about ALS at John Hopkins center http://www.alscenter.org). I’d heard of Lou Gherigs, but didn’t know anyone personally who had it.
The past few years I’ve had some incredible global travel experiences and the opportunity to launch communities and training in some amazing parts of the world… from China, Vietnam, and Philippines to Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. After that trip I found out that our Sharing the Point reporter and blogger John Anderson, was inflicted with ALS. At that time it was very private, but he wanted to let us know that it may be his last trip with us. He was noticeably shaking and told us how much harder it was to type. We were able to do one more trip to Africa where we hiked the Kilimanjaro and launched a SharePoint user group in Kenya. (Yes, the one that met a year later on the day of the shooting in Nairobi). John was able to go on a Serengeti safari while we were on the mountain. This would be our last trip with him. He is now in a wheel chair. The Bamboo solutions team still considers him part of the team, which is awesome. They’ve seen him through this awful disease.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw my first Ice Bucket Challenger. It was Bill Gates putting something he had constructed to dump ice on his head. Bonnie Surma had sent me the link and said, “Wouldn’t it be great to get the SharePoint community involved in this?”
I was busy with my move to the San Diego area, and while I would have loved to have gotten involved, I was concerned I couldn’t give it the attention it needed. So I let it go, until I was in Houston for work, and Naomi Moneypenny asked me if I would accept the challenge if she challenged me at the Houston SharePoint User Group meeting, which my colleague Brad Freels and I were presenting at. I told her… Sure! I’d accept, and please bring an extra bag of ice for me.
So Naomi takes the lead and many others join in… each with their own thoughts and exposure to the disease.
Kanwal, Naomi, Richard, and Sean.
MVPs join in – Mark Rackley, Benjamin Niaulin, and even Todd Klindt.
That night five people in the SharePoint Community did the ALS Ice Bucket challenge right in front of me. I was last to go, and took the opportunity to challenge a few friends who were with me when John shared his ALS story. I challenged Dux Raymond Sy @meetdux , I mentioned Bamboo in my story @bamboonation , Michael Noel @michaeltnoel , and Mark Miller @eusp. Very cool to see everyone get engaged and join in on the fun.
It is great to see the SharePoint Community come together for such a great cause.
Who is next??