#IceBucketChallenge raises R1 billion for ALS Association

The tens of thousands of people around the world who have volunteered to pour buckets of ice and cold water over their heads for good have helped raise over $100 million (just over R1 billion) for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease in the ALS #IceBucketChallenge.

The ALS #IceBucketChallenge started on 29th July and lasted for a full month. Last year, the ALS Association received $2.8 million during the same period, but it managed to raise almost 50 times more that amount, receiving $100.9 million this year. Those who were challenged but didn’t take part had to donate $100, although those who had accepted could also do so.

“The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now,” said Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of the ALS Association. “We recognize a profound sense of urgency and are engaged in discussions about how we’re going to put this money to work in the short term and into the future.”

The funds raised will go towards further research, care and support to people living with ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Former SpringBok player Joost Van der Westhuizen managed to rasie more awareness about the disease in South Africa after he was diagnosed in 2011 – he also took part in the challenge recently.

“Now and in the coming weeks, we will be able to enhance our strategic plan, reformulating and recasting strategies with input from stakeholders, including our donors, our chapters, and most importantly, people living with ALS and their families. We want to move quickly but decisively as our ultimate goal is to use this incredible generosity in a way that has the biggest impact on fighting this disease.”

[Source – ALS Association, Image – YouTube]


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