The ALS Association

Impact of the Ice Bucket Challenge

April 20, 2015

Donations Yield Initial Investments in The ALS Association’s Mission Priorities and Collaboration to Find a Cure

Last summer, an international sensation started in the Northeast part of the United States, whereby people poured buckets of cold ice water on themselves while challenging friends and family to spread ALS awareness via a shared video. The viral phenomenon, known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, has brought in more than $220 million around the globe for the fight against ALS.

Although the Ice Bucket Challenge yielded unprecedented awareness and donations to support the fight against this disease, additional action is necessary to find treatments and a cure. This infographic shows how an integrated approach – one involving The ALS Association’s mission priorities of research, care services programs, and public policy endeavors – will lead us to the discoveries that will help to eradicate ALS. Ice Bucket Challenge funding has enabled The ALS Association to fund efforts to advance new critical scientific alliances to find new treatments. These include collaborations with ALS Accelerated Therapeutics (ALS ACT), The New York Genome Center, the Neuro Collaborative, and Project MinE. In addition, this initial funding will support a 50 percent increase in annual grants to The Association’s Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence and develop a regulatory guidance document to expedite drug development.

The ability to establish alliances is another element that will get us even closer to eradicating this disease. Last week, The Association’s National Office hosted “Collaboration for a Cure,” whereby 18 ALS organizations met in Washington, D.C. to discuss areas of potential collaboration. Some participating organizations included the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Team Gleason, Les Turner ALS Foundation, ALSTDI, ALS Worldwide, ALS Hope Foundation and Robert Packard Center for ALS Research.

Ice Bucket Challenge donations have also allowed our chapters to have a positive impact on families coping with this disease. Chapters have increased services to constituents residing in rural areas, eliminated wait lists for services, and funded respite care for caregivers. This video highlights how the challenge has benefitted families the Greater Philadelphia Chapter serves by increasing the number of iPads, letter boards and other assistive technology devices available for loan.

As one of the people who made the Ice Bucket Challenge go viral, Pat Quinn, says, “Because of you, we've changed the game.... There's a new sense of fight in the community...." Let’s continue this fight until we defeat ALS.

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