Ice Bucket Challenges Ferguson, Missouri

Washington, D.C. (August 18, 2014) — As of Monday, August 18, The ALS Association has received $15.6 million in donations compared to $1.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 18). These donations have come from existing donors and 307,598 new donors to The Association.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed

The ALS Association’s mission includes providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and eventually a cure for the disease. In addition, The Association’s public policy efforts empower people to advance public policies in our nation’s Capital that respond to the needs of people with ALS.

I find the juxtaposition of the destruction resulting from the protests in Ferguson, Missouri in honor of a teenager whose death raises questions surrounding its circumstances on the same front page news as the incredible outpouring of financial and emotional support for a disease that has killed so many, extremely troubling.  Imagine the good that could come from all of those people channeling their energy into finding solutions to the problems behind their frustrations.   As a nation of people, we have so many more freedoms than other nations with the potential to do so much good.  Look what we’ve managed to do for ALS.

Instead of dumping ice water over my head, I chose to dump some cold hard cash in the form of a donation to the ALS Association in honor of my Uncle Tom, who has ALS. We have the option of choosing whether to react to challenges in a positive or negative manner.  That’s true power.

About The ALS Association

The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.  For more information about The ALS Association, visit [their] website at http://www.alsa.org. (ALS Association)

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