Ice Bucket Challenge helps generate millions of dollars in donat - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Ice Bucket Challenge helps generate millions of dollars in donations in battle against ALS

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FOX 5's Will Thomas took on the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise awareness in the battle against ALS. FOX 5's Will Thomas took on the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise awareness in the battle against ALS.
WASHINGTON -

If nominated, you are supposed to either dump the ice cold water over your head or donate money towards the fight to help strike out amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.

Now with all the videos being posted online, are they actually doing anything to help the cause? We found that they certainly are.

“I've never seen anything like it in my lifetime in nonprofit,” said Judy Taylor, Executive Director of the DC/MD/VA chapter of the ALS Association.

Taylor says ALS impacts about 30,000 people at any given time in the United States.

“The disease itself is a motor neuron disease where you lose all mobility, so it's a pretty devastating disease,” she said.

It's a terminal illness. The average life expectancy is just three to five years from diagnosis.

ALS has been commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. Seventy-five years ago, the baseball legend shocked the nation announcing that it would stop him from playing.

Now decades later, a former Boston College baseball captain, 29-year-old Pete Frates, has brought the disease to the forefront once again. He is being credited with the ice bucket challenge going viral.

“It's definitely making a huge impact,” Taylor said. “When you get those sports players doing it and Ethel Kennedy challenging the president, people pay attention to that.”

It turns out along with raising awareness, donations are also flooding in. According to the ALS Association, nationwide from July 29 through August 12, they have received $2.3 million. That is compared to $25,000 in donations for the same time period last year.

Along with vital research, the money funds support groups, clinics and home care. The local chapter serves 600 patients here in our area.

Judy Bailey, the president of the local ALS Association's Board of Directors, lost her uncle Walter McFadden to the disease. She says the help and equipment the association provides to families is crucial.

“It's hard to deal with paralysis and not be able to walk or hold objects to feed yourself,” she said. “But I think from what I've experienced, the most frustrating thing is not to be able to speak.”

These viral videos are providing a new voice. The lighthearted challenge is shining the spotlight on the need for a cure. The hope is when you are nominated, you will act and keep it going.

Online:

www.ALSinfo.org

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