AUGUST 13, 2014-- It’s a viral challenge to raise awareness and funds for ALS, a disease that more than five thousand people in the U.S. are diagnosed with each year. It’s called the Ice Bucket Challenge and hundreds of thousands of people have taken part, but the chill you get up your spine is nothing compared to the damage to the central nervous system caused by the disease. The challenge is raising awareness and money for ALS, telling people who are nominated to either dump a bucket of ice water on their head or donate to the cause. ALS is a progressive disease that affects muscles in the body. Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, patients in later stages can become totally paralyzed. You may know the nickname, but it’s a disease not many people are familiar with. For Eric Witherite and his family it’s a disease they live with everyday because of ALS Eric has trouble speaking and is in a wheelchair. There is no cure or treatment that can reverse the damage caused by ALS. For Larry Gray he says his has been progressing since his diagnosis. Both the Gray family and the Witherite's agree, one simple thing like this ice bucket challenge can really bring awareness to a disease and donations for research to help find a cure. According to the ALS Association since the ice bucket challenge started on july 29th of this year the organization has already raised more than four million dollars in donations.
You can learn more about the disease, how to donate and the Ice Bucket Challenge at: http://www.alsa.org/news/archive/als-ice-bucket-challenge.html