Recently, the Ice Bucket Challenge has taken over social media, encouraging those who participate to donate to the ALS Association or dump ice water over their heads — hopefully both.
The goal is to raise awareness in the fight against ALS while trying to find a cure for the disease, and the results have been astounding. As of Aug. 26, the ALS Association has raised $88.5 million in the past month, compared to just over $2 million at the same time last year.
The phenomenon started spreading when Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS, challenged his friends via social media. It took off as professional athletes completed the challenge in Frates’ name and now, it seems everyone has participated in some way, shape or form.
And the donation total has gone up by at least another $5,000, because a number of House staff members participated in their own Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS typically strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time, including Eric Saari — son of House Chief of Staff Norm Saari.
Check out the video below as Saari and other House staff participate in the #IceBucketChallenge in honor of Eric.
Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. That’s why it’s so important to raise both awareness and funds.