South Korea is on its way to getting its first specialized hospital to treat ALS, and Korean hip-hop artist Sean has played a massive role in it.
Sean, a member of the YG Entertainment duo Jinusean, is a music industry veteran, having debuted in the 90s. But for the past decade, his focus has been building the first ALS hospital in Korea, which is finally becoming a reality.
In 2009, Sean first met former basketball player Park Seung Il, who suffers from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Together, the two established the Seungil Hope Foundation in 2011 and started their efforts to build the first specialized hospital for the disease in South Korea.
ALS is a rare and terminal nervous system disease (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease) that breaks down nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It leads to the weakening of muscles, which impacts the physical function of patients. The reason behind this disorder is unknown, and so is any cure. The best hope for those affected by it is specialized treatment.
Sean is particularly known for reviving the “Ice Bucket Challenge” in Korea to raise money for this goal, and every year, Korea’s biggest celebrities participate in it to promote awareness and raise funds. Sean himself donated ₩550 million KRW (about $ 424,000 USD) to the cause.
Apart from the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” Sean has led countless other charitable campaigns to raise funds for this project, and the accumulated efforts of the past 14 years have finally paid off. On December 13, he and Park Seung Il attended the groundbreaking ceremony of South Korea’s first-ever ALS hospital in Yongin-si, Gyeonggi province. The construction is slated to be completed in December of 2024.