Local ALS Impact from Ice Bucket Challenge

Storm Team 8 meteorologist Matt Kirkwood participates in the Ice Bucket Challenge. (Aug. 19, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS has gone viral on social media, but is the trend really raising money to help find a cure for the disease?

The Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity where someone dumps a bucket of ice water over their head, donates to an ALS nonprofit and then challenges others to do the same.

As of August 19, the ALS Association has received $22.9 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year. The donations have come from existing donors and 453,210 new donors to the association.

Tanya Peterson, the care service coordinator at the ALS West Michigan Association, said donations have exceeded 200 percent locally.

“I think the biggest thing is raising awareness about ALS and about making ALS more visible in the West Michigan community,” said Peterson.

Statistics show 50 percent of people don’t know what ALS is, according to Peterson.

Five out of every 100,000 people worldwide are affected by ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to the U.S National Library of Medicine. It’s sometimes caused by a genetic defect, but in 9 out of 10 cases, its cause is unknown. There is no cure for ALS.


Online: ALS Association Michigan Chapter

WOOD TV8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s