Contact:
Carrie Munk
The ALS Association
571-319-3047
cmunk@alsa-national.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The ALS Association Celebrates ALS Awareness Month

#ChallengeALS Offers Engagement Opportunities Beyond the Bucket

Washington, D.C., (May 1, 2014) — May is ALS Awareness Month, and this year The ALS Association is celebrating the tremendous awareness generated from last summer’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the incredible impact it had on the fight against this disease. To continue this momentum, The Association is encouraging the 17 million people who uploaded videos to social media to continue to go beyond the bucket and Challenge ALS® this May: to participate, advocate and donate.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival.

According to Google, last August more people searched for information about ALS than in the entire last decade. The ALS Association is grateful not only for the increased awareness about the disease but also for the $115 million in donations. Progress on how The Association is putting these dollars to work can be viewed here. The Association would also like to thank Pat Quinn, co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for helping to kick off ALS Awareness Month in this video message.

“This ALS Awareness Month is like no other because of the connection this disease now has with millions more people than ever before,” said Barbara Newhouse. “I’m confident that together, we can achieve what no one can do alone—a world without ALS.” 

Unfortunately, it can cost up to $2 billion to develop a drug to slow or stop the progression of the disease. Currently, there is only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it only modestly extends survival of people with ALS by several months.

“The fight against this disease didn’t start and end last summer, and we’re counting on people to get reengaged in the fight against ALS this May,” continued Newhouse.

The ALS Association has made it easier for people to get involved in the mission of the organization by creating a special engagement section of its website. People are now able to find out how they can go beyond the bucket to Challenge ALS. Options include the following:

Participate:

  • Find your local chapter and learn more about volunteering in your community.
  • Enjoy the outdoors and join a Walk to Defeat ALS®.  There are more than 130 walks every year across the U.S.
  • Participate in the #ALSIceBucketChallenge in August 2015! Bigger, better, more fun!

Advocate:

  • Sign up to be an advocate. 
  • Watch research sessions live-streamed from The Association’s National Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference from May 10-12 in Washington, D.C. (Details available soon on www.ALSA.org)

Donate:

  • Donate to continue the momentum towards drug development.

*The National Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference brings together more than a thousand people with ALS, family members and other concerned individuals to advocate in person for policies specifically designed to accelerate the develop of treatments for the disease. 

For more information about ALS, please visit www.alsa.org.

About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.  For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.

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