From neighborhood driveways and city streets to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, people everywhere can be seen dumping buckets of ice water on their heads to raise awareness and funds to fight ALS. Children, adults and celebrities alike are joining the social media phenomenon to fight back against a disease that currently has no treatments or cures.
“We have been moved beyond words by the power of one family’s ability to make such a meaningful difference in the fight against a disease that has taken too many lives,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. “All of us at MDA are incredibly grateful to everyone who has taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and donations for ALS. It will take all of us working together to find treatments and cures, and MDA will not rest until we end ALS.”
The viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started when 29-year-old Pete Frates, diagnosed with ALS in 2012, posted an ice bucket video on social media and challenged a few friends to follow his lead. The #ALSIceBucketChallenge has since become a social media sensation, sweeping the country with compassion and support.
“Increased awareness about ALS is critical to help us learn more about the disease,” Derks said. “But what we need more than ever is action. Together, our collective actions can translate into significant progress against ALS. We hope everyone will join us to fight back by making a donation at mda.org and participating with us at a local MDA event in your community.”
Watch Ben Thomas’ story to learn why donations to MDA to fight ALS are so important.
Watch MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks take the Ice Bucket Challenge to end ALS on behalf of the tens of thousands of courageous families fighting this disease every day.
ALS, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a disease of the parts of the nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. Nerve cells that control muscle cells are gradually lost, causing the muscles to become weak and eventually nonfunctional. Walking, talking, eating, hugging and even breathing become nearly impossible, although the mind stays sharp. Most people with ALS live 3 to 5 years after diagnosis. To learn more, click on the topics about ALS to the right.
A diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) does not mean an end to your hopes and dreams. Changes, challenges and adaptations lay ahead, but also opportunity, fulfillment, joy and hope for a future free of this devastating disease.
Make MDA your go-to ALS resource. Learn about the search for treatments and therapies through MDA/ALS Newsmagazine Online. Find support groups and online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter; a personal support network through the care coordination tool myMuscleTeam; and connections to community and educational resources.
As you learn more about ALS, always remember that you’re not alone. MDA is here for you and your family, standing ready to provide help and hope. There is a place for you in the MDA ALS community.