“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge gave me back the voice that ALS was taking from me. It took my personal struggle and gave it validation and hope. We need to keep going to fund research so that one day ALS will be treatable, not terminal. I accept the passing of the bucket from co-founder Pat Quinn to unite Canadians, and challenge them to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this August and every August until we find a cure,”  Brian Parsons, living with ALS and ALS advocate.

Canadians unite. August marks the one year anniversary of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The premise of the Challenge remains intact – Canadians can dump buckets of ice and water over their heads and challenge three people do the same and donate to an ALS Society across Canada. In respect for the environment, Canadians are encouraged to either save the water or use recycled water when getting involved this year.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a terminal neurodegenerative disease in which motor neurons or the ‘living wires’ that connect the muscles to the brain degenerate, robbing the person living with ALS the ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe. There is no effective treatment or cure and most people will die within two to five years. ALS is indiscriminate of age, ethnicity or sex and only 5-10% of people diagnosed will have a hereditary link.

“The funds and awareness raised from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge replaces discouragement with some reassurance that the ALS Community is not being overlooked and allows hope to sprout that a treatment or a cure is one day possible,” said Brian Parsons. “That’s why we have to keep doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this August and every August until a cure.”

Last year Canadians donated $17 million to ALS Societies across Canada. From these donations $11.5 million was allocated to ALS research and $4.4 million to help people living with ALS across the country. Additionally Brain Canada responded to the generosity of Canadians by matching $10 million from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge funds. ALS Canada has active competitions underway which will see almost $15M invested in 2015 for grants, awards and research support as a result of the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a partnership with Brain Canada and annual fundraising initiatives. Further investments are underway for equipment and services which will provide support for people living with ALS and their families throughout Canada. This is an unprecedented investment, but a drop in the bucket compared to the need.

“We are so grateful to Brian and Pat and the ALS Community for their challenge of ‘Every August until a cure’ and bringing forward the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge into 2015,” states Tammy Moore, CEO ALS Canada. “The financial burden of $150,000 – $250,000 is massive for families and the ALS Societies across Canada do much to provide support for the 2500 to 3000 Canadians through the provision of equipment and support services for people coping with the disease. Approximately one thousand people in Canada will be diagnosed this year and the same number will die. We need research to change this reality. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge may help to change the future.”
Canada, consider yourself Challenged.

The public can donate to ALS Societies across Canada at alsicebucketchallenge.ca.

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