Tempe Martial Arts Teacher Bans Workers from Ice Bucket Challenge Over Health Concerns

Categories: Health, News

icebucket.jpg
Patch.com
The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised millions of dollars for the ALS Association, but some people question whether it's safe.

One local teacher/business owner has banned her employees from participating after one of her students experienced adverse health effects following the challenge.

See also:
-Mike White's War: A Gulf War Veteran with ALS Is in the Fight of His Life

The premise of the challenge is simple: If a friend nominates you to participate, you must upload a video of yourself dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, donate $10 to the ALS Association, and then nominate a new batch of participants. If you decide not to participate, you are supposed to instead donate $100 to the cause.

The ALS Association works to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, through research, direct assistance to those suffering from the neurological disorder, and advocacy efforts.

So far, the challenge has been highly effective. Celebrities, politicians, and athletes have posted their videos online, and the association has raised $41.8 million dollars so far from the campaign, compared to just $2.1 million during the same time period last year.

But some aren't so sure the challenge is the best way for the ALS Association to raise funds.

Some express a distaste for such 'hashtag activism,' viewing it as a showy version of charity that's actually premised on avoiding having to donate a considerable sum of money. Some decry the waste of good drinking water. And some wonder about potential health risks.

Michelle Landgren Lee, a seventh degree black belt and the head martial arts instructor at Lee's ATA Martial Arts in Tempe, says she has banned her 60 employees from participation in the challenge after one of her students apparently suffered adverse effects.

After a difficult kickboxing class, Lee says, her student got into her hot car, went to meet up with some friends, and ended up unexpectedly participating in the challenge. Lee arrived ten minutes behind her student and was troubled by what she saw. Her student didn't look well. She seemed almost drunk, Lee says, and was slurring her words. Half of her face had drooped. Lee says the student had suffered from a nervous system disorder in the past, and she wonders if the Ice Bucket Challenge exacerbated the issue.

"She wasn't even completely cognating my conversation with her," Lee says. Her student ended up going to bed that night and sleeping for an entire day, Lee says, adding that she heard it took her through the weekend to finally feel normal again.

There are other accounts online of adverse reactions to the challenge, though it's hard to say whether the ice water is causing health problems, exacerbating pre-existing conditions, or completely unrelated to the problems being described.

At least one health risk is clear: the potential to be hit in the face or head with a heavy bucket accidentally tossed along with the ice water. Just search for "Ice Bucket Challenge fails" to find countless examples.

Lee says her student never saw a doctor, so it isn't clear just what went wrong in her case. But Lee isn't taking any risks. She released a memo to her employees banning them from participation in the challenge. Throwing a bucket of ice over one's head just doesn't sit right with her.

She suggests they find a safer way to get involved in the cause. "I'm into fun," she says. "We can do something fun as a fundraiser for this organization. I said I'd even be fine if they stand in the ice. That's not your brain."

But Lee and other doubters may be in the minority. As of Aug. 21, the Ice Bucket Challenge had brought 739,275 new donors to the ALS Association.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ashley Cusick.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Ashley Cusick on Twitter at @AshleyBCusick.



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47 comments
Christine Nimitz
Christine Nimitz

RBC (read BEFORE commenting), people. Is "cognating" even a word?

Ryan Haza
Ryan Haza

We each have a brain that is ours....Anyone that was actually a scared pussy cat of a minimal amount of ice water can use their brain to make a decision like maybe I could put really warm water in a bucket and then right before it's dumped on my head I will add the ice so that I DEFINETELY WONT RUN THE RISK OF ANYTHING...Any of you other whining babies can stick your hand in a plugged in toaster before you dump your water. Think outside the box you Lemmings!

marcy
marcy

Is there some reason people can't donate $10 or $100 without getting involved in a stupid stunt?



John Taylor
John Taylor

Let's ban the teaching of martial arts because people could get hurt. Just as stupid a conclusion.

Lakeisha  Williams
Lakeisha Williams

They can do that on their own time. Work is for work. Not horseplay. It does open small business owners up for major liability issues. Let them do any challenge that want when they're home.

Alex Zamudio
Alex Zamudio

Do you really have to pour a bucket of ice cold water and risk getting pneumonia?! Maybe even risking your own life? My point is ladies and gents, you can support this cause without putting your own health at risk by simply donating to the ALS website.

Joel Wurnig
Joel Wurnig

They can always just... you know... donate money.

Evan O'Shea
Evan O'Shea

This is totally awesome. Despite what you all say, they raised 41 MILLION DOLLARS. That's fucking awesome! For medical research. Yes, it's stupid. Yes, there are other ways to raise money. But seriously guys, those figures are amazing. Stop all this hate. You all look pathetic

Stina Ry
Stina Ry

Whatever you think about the ALS challenge, what makes this chick think she has the right to tell her employees what they can or cannot do in their spare time?

Andrew Carraway
Andrew Carraway

As a new Tempe resident transplanted from Atlanta, I'm fairly certain this is Kasim Reed, the mayor of ATL in the picture. Any reason why?

Brett Hamler
Brett Hamler

What's sad is your comments. I'm deleting this comment so I don't have to listen to more of your so sorry for me bullshit. You don't go threw what I do. Period. This conversation is the biggest waste of fucking time.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen

You are very angry. It's very sad. Good luck with your disease. I would think you would have more compassion since something bad is going on with you as well.

Brett Hamler
Brett Hamler

On a serious note though. How many people in Israel are doing the ice water challenge? You know why?

Brett Hamler
Brett Hamler

These are prescriptions I can't fill. Believe me now?

Brett Hamler
Brett Hamler

Don't ever doubt I don't. You have no clue who I am or what I've gone threw on a daily basis. I'm not some cry baby that needs to go public for attention. Awareness ?? Give me a break. I'm aware the medical is all about money and this ALS shit is getting rich while most of that money is not spent towards research for a cure. I'm not asking for a hand out or help. I just want you to realize dumping water on yourself to be cool, is sad. And yes people are doing it to be popular for five mins. Most these fools have no clue what ALS is. Humans make me sick.

Tyburn Gallows
Tyburn Gallows

Maybe go look up the overhead and marketing costs of this obscure charity for this little known disease...

Samantha Bowers
Samantha Bowers

Brett what disease do you have? Cause when telling someone you have a disease you have to deal with usually you say what you have. Maybe we need more awareness about your disease and you wouldn't be so bitter.

Brett Hamler
Brett Hamler

Listen I don't really give a fuck I have my own disease I have to deal with every fucking day. Sorry about your " grandpa" I got my own shit I have to handle.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen

This actually does matter to some of us. I feel sorry for you pathetic people that need to complain about everything. You really must have miserable lives.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen

It raises awareness for people to donate money and clearly it's worked! Get your facts straight and I didn't go it for attention my grandfather died from this disease so anything to raise awareness helps

Hayatt Conaway
Hayatt Conaway

Like someone can ban a person from doing something on their off time. Loser. She has no clue.

Tim Fitchner
Tim Fitchner

How about we focus on issues that really matter?Yeah that would be great.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton

It has helped raise 41 million dollars for a great cause. Wheres the harm in that again?

Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown

Yes... Just go to the ALS website and donate if you want to. IF You don't want to donate or can't afford to donate then educate people on your facebook and other social media with a link to the ALS website so they can learn for themselves. >.

Brett Hamler
Brett Hamler

Pouring ice on your head for attention isn't impressive and doesn't save lives. Only 8 out of your 100 dollars actually go to research for ALS. Stop trying to get attention and being an idiot.

Nathan Schneider
Nathan Schneider

An employer cannot ban somebody from pouring water on their head.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen

Tyburn gallows, you're an idiot. I bet if someone in your family died from this disease you wouldn't be saying that. Hopefully you will never have to go through that like I did.

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

Jackasses ICE BUCKET TRAGEDY: Two Firefighters Electrocuted by Power lines while Trying to Help Students Perform the Ice Bucket Challenge

Tyburn Gallows
Tyburn Gallows

Anything that stops this stupid PR-managed faux-trend is welcome.

MoManny
MoManny

ATA is a scam. I wouldn't put much stock in what a fake black belt tells you. If you want to learn real self defense go to Arizona combat sports. At least they won't feed you a line of shit, or take it easy.

MoManny
MoManny

Go away you pretentious hipster douche. Nobody likes you. Go pretend to be oppressed somewhere else.

modem
modem

Where did you get that number from?

marcy
marcy

They can certainly fire them if they do.

MoManny
MoManny

It isn't hipster enough for you. You're still a coward and a wanker.

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