ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Raises $40 Million to Date


Published 08/21 2014 10:15PM

Updated 08/22 2014 05:20AM

Celebrities and politicians across the country have posted videos of ice bucket challenges, and the awareness that the ALS Association has received has exceeded expectations.

But for Katie Reichert the ALS challenge means something more than a bucket of ice dumped on her head. Katie lost her father to ALS 6 years ago.

“It was essentially a death sentence for what we like to call the rock of our family,” said Reichart.

Cindy Wise, Executive Director for ALS in Indianapolis explained that ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis affects nerve cells in the brain.

“It's when the motor neurons die out in the brain and that is what sends the message to the muscles,” said Wise.

“Stops all the neurons that are going to your body parts telling it to move until eventually you can’t eat, you can’t breathe, you’re not able to speak, and you’re essentially trapped in your own body,” said Reichert.

Katie explained her father’s symptoms lasted for 7 months before convincing him to go to the doctor.

“Every week it was what are we going to lose, are we going to lose his speech, are we going to lose the ability to close his jaw, is he going to be able to eat today,” said Reichert.

After seeing a neurologist at Indiana University, he was told he had a month to live, but 3 days later he passed. Katie said the ice bucket challenge is not only raising awareness in the community, but also in the medical field.

“Within the medical community this probably raising a lot of awareness for physicians that don’t know it well and being able to diagnose it quicker,” said Reichert.

Wise said that the money donated will go directly to finding treatments and a cure for A.L.S. as well as for providing support to people with the disease.

“As of this morning on a national level we have raised approximately 40 million dollars,” said Wise.

Katie said the awareness that ALS is receiving through the ice bucket challenge means more than words to those that have lived through the disease.

“Getting the publicity for this disease and people knowing about it is priceless.”

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