Man's funny ice-bucket challenge takes emotional twist as he reveals diagnosis

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By Emily Wickwire

The flood of ice-bucket challenge videos overtaking the Internet means an endless supply of hilarious YouTube videos of people getting soaked in icy water. It means a complete domination of your Facebook news feed. And every so often, you stumble on one that makes you realize this social-media sensation is a lot more than just a funny trend.

Anthony Carbajal's YouTube video is one such example. In his ice-bucket challenge, Carbajal dances around suggestively in a bikini top and tight shorts emblazoned with "Kiss my ALS" before being doused in the frigid water.

But after the funny introduction, Carbajal gets serious about what this challenge is really for. He admits that he's been terrified of the disease his entire life because it runs in his family: His grandmother had it, his mother has it, and five months ago at just 26 years old, Carbajal was diagnosed with it too.

In the video, Carbajal said that although people may be annoyed at all the ice-bucket challenge videos overtaking their Facebook page, it's raising awareness about the illness in a way he's never seen before.

"Right now, the ALS community has the main spotlight," he said. "For once in my entire life, I've seen it in the forefront."

Since the challenge first gained momentum this summer, there have been an increasing number of responses from people who've had personal experience with the disease. Just last week a Michigan mother of four with ALS took the challenge, while the family of Susan Spencer-Wendel, who died from ALStook a massive ice bucket challenge as a tribute to their late mother. Amy Phillips, who lost her dad to ALS when she was a child, even wrote a heartfelt essay asking people to keep the ice bucket-dumping up. 

But most important to Carbajal is simply getting the word out. What has been a nuisance for some people is a blessing for him and others like him. As he says in the video, "It wouldn't be successful if we weren't irritating a few people, right?"