Making a difference with the Ice Bucket Challenge

Calyn Dunklau for The Wayne Stater, Opinion Editor

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that progressively causes muscle weakness, paralysis and eventually respiratory failure.

The disease attacks certain brain and spinal cord cells that are necessary to keep muscles moving. While the senses aren’t affected by the disease, as it progresses it will mean the inability to move any part of your body or communicate using anything but your eyes. Ultimately, a person with ALS becomes completely reliant on a feeding tube for nutritional needs.

There are three different forms identified so far, Sporadic being the most common. Familial ALS is when the disease is found more than once in a family. This only accounts for 5 to 10 percent of total cases in the United States. The last form, Guamanian, is extremely rare and was only observed in the 1950s in Guam and the Trust Territories.

An estimated 450,000 people suffer from this disease worldwide. Meaning, roughly every 90 minutes, another person is diagnosed with the disease.

ALS is treated using one drug and it only extends survival from this disease for another 2 to 3 months.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has brought much needed attention to the disease and because of that attention, donations to the cause have risen immensely.

Last year’s donations amounted to $19.4 million. As of yesterday, donations reached a monumental $88.5 million. That’s over a $69 million difference.

Some of our own rose to the challenge including President Curt Frye and the Women’s Volleyball team made us proud by participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

So in the spirit of it all, all of us at The Wayne Stater challenge you, the students and faculty of Wayne State College to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.