MDA Unites with the ALS Community as ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Returns
In August 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media and swept the nation by storm. Individuals, groups, families, celebrities, politicians and athletes posted videos online of themselves participating in the phenomenon and challenging others to follow suit. Public awareness and donations to fight ALS soared to greater heights, and hope rose throughout the ALS community that this sensational social campaign could help us move closer than ever before to treatments and cures.
Now it’s up to us to keep that momentum going.
The fight against ALS isn’t over, and we won’t stop until this devastating disease is no longer able to take away the strength, mobility, dreams, time and lives of our loved ones, neighbors, friends and others. The community has spoken, and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge co-founders Pat Quinn, Pete Frates and Anthony Senerchia are challenging everyone to rally behind the Ice Bucket Challenge again this August — and #EveryAugustUntilACure.
There’s still so much more to do, and so much we can accomplish if we pull together. That’s why we’re hoping we can count on you to unite with MDA, stop ALS and save lives.
At MDA we are working hard every day to end ALS, but we always want to do more. With funds from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, we’ll be able to pursue and invest in more game-changing research that will lead us to the treatments and cures that are so desperately needed — research into:
- the underlying causes and mechanisms of the disease;
- research models in which scientists can study the disease;
- biomarkers to help clinicians pinpoint disease presence and progression, make informed decisions in clinical trials, and speed development of promising drug candidates;
- new drug targets; and
- promising therapeutic strategies and experimental drugs.
Last year alone, we funded 64 ALS research grants with a total investment of more than $17.2 million. In January, more than 350 of the best and brightest scientists from across the globe submitted applications for MDA research funding — with more than 20 percent of them focused on ALS. Soon we will be awarding new research grants to help fund the next wave of discoveries to bring cures closer within reach.
Every dollar we raise through the Ice Bucket Challenge will also allow us to help more people and families living with ALS today face the challenges a diagnosis of ALS brings, with access from day one to best-in-class care through our nationwide network of comprehensive clinics staffed by the nation’s leading ALS specialists. Ice Bucket donations will help us provide more support groups for people with ALS and their caregivers and children; more help with care coordination and medical equipment; and more information on up-to-date research, health care and help for daily living through mda.org/ALS, in print and through email and social media.
Every day we’re doing more than we did the day before, but we can’t do it alone.
Who will you challenge?
In honor of all our loved ones and others who are living with ALS and who face the challenges the disease brings each day, I encourage you to take action now.
Join with MDA as we rise to the challenge. Spread the word and encourage your friends and family, your neighbors, colleagues and community members to rally behind the 2015 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge throughout the month of August — so that we can provide more research, more services and support, more hope.
With our collective strength, we can win this fight, as we turn buckets of ice water into vessels of hope and the ice cubes they carry into dollars that make a difference.
Amanda M. Haidet-Phillips, Ph.D.
MDA Scientific Program Officer