DURHAM, N.C. -- In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has sent a chill across the nation with people from all walks of life taking the plunge. Wednesday morning in the shadow of historic Cameron Indoor Stadium and just off the lush green grass of Krzyzewskiville, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski joined the growing list of participants to help raise awareness in the fight against ALS.
With assistance from a team of his nine grandchildren, Krzyzewski was doused with a cooler of ice water while issuing a challenge to his USA Basketball Senior National Team to take the plunge Aug. 18 following a practice session at West Point. In addition, Coach K invited the West Point cadets to join in the event.
Between July 29 and today, August 12, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $4 million in donations compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year. Contributions further The Association’s mission to find a cure for ALS while funding the highest quality of care for people living with the disease.
With only about half of the general public knowledgeable about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge is making a profound difference. Since July 29, The Association has welcomed more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.
Currently, there is only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ALS, which only modestly extends survival by two to three months. Consequently, ALS is 100 percent fatal. In addition to acclimating to the challenges that come with losing control of voluntary muscle movement, people with the disease progressively lose their ability to eat, speak, walk, and eventually breathe.
For more information on how to join the #IceBucketChallenge phenomenon that's spreading ALS Awareness log on to www.alsa.org.