The phenomenal “ice bucket challenge” campaign, which has raised awareness and funds for those stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has trickled down some benefits to the early breast cancer detection advocacy of ICanServe Foundation.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease after it halted the American baseball player’s career in 1939, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

The ice bucket challenge is a viral social media campaign launched by ALS Association to raise awareness and funds for research, care services and policy advocacy for ALS. Many celebrities, as well as ordinary folks, have allowed themselves to get drenched with ice cold water while nominating at least three friends to do the same. The person who nominated will donate US$100 for every friend who uploads his or her own video of undertaking the ice bucket challenge within 24 hours of viewing the challenger’s video.

TV anchor and model Daphne Osena Paez accepted the ice bucket challenge on August 20 (see her video here) and donated to ALS Canada ( At the same time, she decided to do a two-in-one campaign and donated funds for mammograms through ICanServe Foundation, challenging three others to do the same.

Representative Leni Gerona Robredo (3rd district, Camarines Sur) of Naga City was sick and failed to beat the 24-hour video upload deadline for a successful ice bucket challenge, but decided to reach out to ICanServe Foundation to help fund mammograms for those in need. In her Facebook post on August 26, Rep. Robredo said: “There is no ALS Group in the Philippines so, like Daphne, who nominated me, I decided that I will just send my humble contribution to ICanServe Foundation, a Philippine organization working for increased awareness of breast cancer. As you may know, the Philippines has the highest number of incidences of breast cancer. To give my heart and soul to this advocacy, I submitted myself to a mammography and ultrasound exam at a hospital just this afternoon. I hope what I will donating will be able to fund the mammography examination of some indigent women who cannot afford the prohibitive cost of one.”

ICanServe Foundation’s members and volunteers thank Ms. Osena Paez and Rep. Robredo for letting the ice bucket challenge rain some benefits for its women beneficiaries, in its advocacy for early breast cancer detection. Donate directly by scrolling down on this page.

Daphne Osena PaezRep. Leni Gerona Robredo

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