Have you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge sweeping the nation? Well, it’s sweeping Bryan County.
Groups such as the Boys and Girls Club, Bryan County EMS and Calera Fire Department and local businesses have taken the challenge to raise awareness and funds for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Your friendly neighborhood reporter has also been called out to take the challenge, but I want to see how much freezing me is worth to Durant.
I will take the challenge and accept a bucket of ice water over my head, but you get to decide who pours it on me.
I will be accepting cash donations at the Durant Daily Democrat from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday until Thursday. Each donation should be in a sealed envelope along with a name and contact number.
Friday morning, I will count the donations and contact the winner who will be able to drench me in ice water Saturday, Aug. 29.
Do you know why we do this? It is for ALS patients. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
This leads to progressive degeneration of the motor neurons resulting in decreased motor functions. Patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed and cannot move, eat or even breathe on their own.
The cause of ALS is not fully understood at the moment and there is no cure of treatment for the disease.
According to the ALS Association website, www.alsa.org, there is one FDA approved drug, riluzole, which modestly slows the progression of ALS as well as several other drugs in clinical trials that hold promise.
Funds raised from the Ice Bucket challenge are donated to the ALS Association which funds research and clinical management projects to better understand and treat the disease.
A press release from the ALS Association, released Aug. 16, states, “The ALS Association announced it has surpassed $10 million in ‘Ice Bucket’ donations. Specifically, as of Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, The ALS Association has received $11.4 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 16).”
The ALS Association is currently funding close to 100 active research projects. For more information about ASL and how to get involved visit www.alsa.org.
- Jessica Breger can be reached at (580) 634-2162 or on Twitter @jbreger_news