“Ice bucket challenge” spotlights deadly disease

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – By now you may have seen clips of people dousing themselves with ice water, all in the name of bringing awareness to the ALS or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”  But one thing most of the videos aren’t showing you is how deadly the disease is.

FOX10 News is taking a closer look at Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a motor neuron disease. According to Alabama’s ALS Association Chapter a common first symptom is a painless weakness in a hand, foot, arm or leg. Other early symptoms include speech swallowing or walking difficulty.

“This disease is 100% fatal. Typically your mind continues to function as usual, but you progressively lose control of all of the muscles in your body and ultimately you are unable to breathe,” said Cassie Barber ALS Association Alabama Chapter.

The ALS Association conducts research on the disease and provides care for families dealing with the illness. There is no cure for ALS and doctors don’t understand yet how it develops in the human body.

“If you find out that you are diagnosed with cancer, almost always there is some sort of treatment. Here is what you can do to beat this disease. Here is how you can survive this heart disease that you have… but for ALS, go home and get your affairs in order,’ said Barber.

Barber says the the ALS Association conducts research and provides care for families suffering from the disease. She hopes the Ice Bucket Challenge continues to shed light on the disease and raises funds so more people can get help.
“Along with getting doused with ice, I hope everyone who hears about this challenge and who participates on this challenge will make a donation to the Alabama Chapter so that we can provide these services to people you know in your community all over the state of Alabama,” said Barber.
Click here to donate to the Alabama Chapter.


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