Last year a monumental push to increase research funding for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, raised over $220 million globally for ALS research and patient care. The video based social media challenge is set to return this year beginning July 31st.
Co-founder Pat Quinn stated in the announcement for this years’ upcoming challenge, “Last year gave the ALS community hope for the first time in a long time. But we still need the public’s help to keep the momentum going. We plan to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge again this August and every August until we find a cure.”
Quinn’s excitement and optimism was shared by his colleague, Pete Frates former Captain of the Boston College baseball team and professional baseball player in Europe, who was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2012, at the age of 27, “The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge represents all that’s great about this country – it’s about fun, friends, family, and it makes a difference to all of us living with ALS. I am so proud that ALS organizations have come together to support me and my family and the whole ALS community as we unite to launch this year’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.”
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive disease that attacks the nerve cells that control muscular actions such as walking and respiration. Patients diagnosed with the disease will have increasing problems with breathing, swallowing, and speaking or forming words. In the late stages of the disease, patients rely solely on caretaker assistance for all their needs. ALS is a terminal diagnosis in which most patients die from respiratory failure within 2 to 5 years. In 90% of patients who are diagnosed with ALS the cause is unknown. For the remaining 10%, the cause is attributed to genetic risk factors.
In an important foundation message about the significance of the challenge, Pat Quinn and Pete Frates, had this to say, “You may ask, “Why do the Ice Bucket Challenge again?” And we understand. It’s easy to see it as a one-time event. But let’s make it more than that. Let’s make it into a movement. Even though we’ve raised $220 million worldwide, a new ALS treatment can cost up to $2 billion, while the costs of ALS patient care can be over $250,000 out-of-pocket per year, above and beyond what insurance covers. So grab a bucket and a camera and join us. Be creative or keep it simple. Whatever you do, please make a donation to an ALS charity and remember to have fun! We officially challenge YOU to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this August and #everyAugustuntilacure.”
Ice Bucket Challenge Participating ALS Organizations Include:
- The ALS Association
- ALS Canada
- ALS Hope Foundation
- ALS Therapy Development Institute
- ALS Worldwide
- Answer ALS
- International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations
- Iron Horse Foundation
- Les Turner ALS Foundation
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Prize4Life, Project A.L.S.
- Target ALS, Team Gleason
- The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research
For more information on how you can get involved please click here.