Ice bucket challenges help raise millions for ALS - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Ice bucket challenges help raise millions for ALS

According to the ALS Foundation, nationwide the challenges have raised $15.6 million dollars since July 29th compared to $1.8 million during the same time last year.   Source: WLBT According to the ALS Foundation, nationwide the challenges have raised $15.6 million dollars since July 29th compared to $1.8 million during the same time last year. Source: WLBT
Seventy six people in MS are diagnosed with ALS, up to 200 live with the disease.   Source: WLBT Seventy six people in MS are diagnosed with ALS, up to 200 live with the disease. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Thanks to social media and the posting of ice bucket challenges the ALS Foundation has seen a major windfall in donations.

Jackson Preps' Class of 1981 held a challenge in honor of classmate Richie Edmonson who is diagnosed with the disease. Efforts like theirs for ALS have raised millions in just three weeks.

"We love you Richie," shouted smiling classmates just before buckets of ice water were dumped on their heads near the water tower on the Jackson Prep campus Monday.

And with a chilling splash, members of the Class of 1981 accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on behalf of classmate Richie Edmonson.

Twelve men and women took the frigid dousing to raise money for ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Research has found no cause or cure. Classmates said Edmonson, a Jackson attorney, was diagnosed a few months ago.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spine, paralyzing the body.

"We've had several chances to gather in his honor and with him," said classmate Doug Boone.

If challenged within 24 hours you must donate $10.00 to the cause and accept the ice dousing or donate $100.00 to avoid the frigid drenching.

Boone was Edmonson's roommate freshman year at Ole Miss.

"One of our classmates (Mary Henderson Hale) who lives in North Carolina challenged us today to do this," added Boone. "She just challenged a couple of our classmates, and it kinda snowballed from there."

According to the ALS Foundation, nationwide the challenges have raised $15.6 million dollars since July 29th compared to $1.8 million during the same time last year.

"Unfortunately we do not know what causes ALS," said ALS Foundation Care Services Director for Mississippi Brandi Nickles. "There's two different types of ALS. There is a sporadic which is in 90 to 95% of the population which means we have no idea what's causing it and only in five to 10% of the population is it genetic."

Seventy six people in MS are diagnosed with ALS, up to 200 live with the disease. Most often diagnosed in people between the ages of 40 and 70, and as many as 30,000 are affected in America.

These nationwide soakings have resulted in donations from existing donors and 307,598 new ALS donors.

You can also participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS on September 27th at Trustmark Park at 9 a.m. 

The local ALS web site is here. You can find the Ice Bucket Challenge web site here.

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