MONTREAL, Aug. 28, 2014 – The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Society of Quebec is pleased to announce that donations received thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge have reached $1,100,000. Since the viral sensation reached the province on August 10th, over 39,000 Quebecers have taken the challenge of dumping a bucket of ice water on themselves and making a donation to ALS. This chilly, yet fun-filled initiative was launched by Pete Frates, a young 29-year old American baseball player who is presently living with this fatal neurological disease.
“The Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon has brought about astonishing and concrete financial results which have been absolutely extraordinary for the Society. In addition to donations, it is helping raise awareness about a terrible disease which was relatively unknown two weeks ago,” says Claudine Cook, Executive Director of the ALS Society of Quebec.
The significant attention in the media and the lightning speed of the challenge across social media resulted in an overwhelming amount of calls to the organization. Mrs. Cook notes, “People are doing more than just pouring ice water over their head and donating. Many are calling to volunteer or to organize a fundraising activity in their community while others are contacting us to simply share their personal stories.”
A big impact on those touched by ALS in Quebec
The funds generated by this campaign will have a significant impact on the lives of people afflicted by ALS. Sixty percent of the funds donated via the Ice Bucket Challenge will support the services offered by the Society such as providing specialized equipment not covered by government agencies, psychosocial counselling for the whole family, information, financial aid programs as well as support groups. Furthermore, additional funds generated by the challenge will help the Society pursue special projects realizing the most pressing needs of families across the province. Forty percent of the funds will go towards research devoted to looking for treatments and a cure for the disease.
A cold shower that warms the heart
While financial results of the Ice Bucket Challenge remain solid and measurable, the joy and warmth felt by families of those affected by the disease is immense. “The Ice Bucket Challenge is an unprecedented demonstration of solidarity that gives hope to the 600-some Quebecers who are presently battling this horrible and fatal disease,” declares former Alouettes player Michael Soles, who is living with ALS.
Goal: $1.5 million in Quebec
The ALS Society of Québec is extremely grateful for this outpour of support and hopes to reach $1.5 million in relation to ice bucket challenge popularity and success of social media networks. By combining the generous efforts of the Quebecois population and those of the business community we are confident we will achieve new heights together.
– 30 –
About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a rapidly progressing and incurable neuromuscular disorder destroying vital nerve cells that controls the motor neuron muscles leading to total paralysis of the person afflicted while leaving the senses intact. The cause of ALS remains unknown and to date there has been no treatment found to cure or significantly slow down the progression of this devastating disease. Life expectancy varies between two and five years upon diagnosis.
It is estimated there are approximately 3,000 people with the disease in the country including 600 in Quebec. The number of people afflicted remains relatively stable given that for each new diagnosis, a death takes place each year.
About the ALS Society of Quebec
Founded in Montreal in 1983, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society of Quebec is a charitable organization devoted to supporting people with ALS along with their families. Its mission is threefold:
- To provide support and services for people living with ALS and their loved ones;
- To fund research;
- To raise awareness of this disease among the general public, government officials and medical and paramedical practitioners.