The Ice Bucket Challenge, started to help raise money and awareness about the ALS disease, has continued its momentum and donations keep pouring in for research.
A multitude of famous people have taken the challenge, not to mention the many more people who have completed it after being tagged by friends on Facebook or other social networks.
The rules for the challenge are pretty straightforward. Within 24 hours of being challenged, people are supposed to record themselves dumping ice water over their heads, or having someone else dump the bucket of ice water over their heads.
The video should include the person saying that they accept the challenge followed by the pouring of ice into a bucket of water. The participant gets the bucket dumped over his or her head, then challenges other people. The typical number of people to name is three.
In one version of the challenge people who receive the challenge either do it and also donate $10 to ALS research, or forgo the challenge and donate $100 to the cause.
The ALS Association announced recently that it has received over $100 million in donations since the start of the challenge.
In the same time period (July 29 to August 29) last year, the association received $2.8 million in donations, compared with $100.9 million this year.
“The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO, in the announcement.
Staffers douse Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and his wife, Crissy, with cold water on the steps of the state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. The Haslams were participating in the ice bucket challenge to support research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
“We recognize a profound sense of urgency and are engaged in discussions about how we’re going to put this money to work in the short term and into the future.”
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival, according to the association.
“These funds will be used to fund cutting-edge research as well as care and support to people living with the disease,” said Newhouse. “Now and in the coming weeks, we will be able to enhance our strategic plan, reformulating and recasting strategies with input from stakeholders, including our donors, our chapters, and most importantly, people living with ALS and their families. We want to move quickly but decisively as our ultimate goal is to use this incredible generosity in a way that has the biggest impact on fighting this disease.”
In other ALS news, Pete Frates, the man who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge, welcomed a child into the world this week.
Family members told WCVB that the daughter, Lucy Frates, checked in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces and both the mother and child are doing well. Pete’s wife Julie does not have the disease. Frates’ father John said that the birth was “the perfect ending to the miracle month of August.”