ALS: The Ice Bucket Challenge and Who it Really Helps

The newest internet sensation, The Ice Bucket Challenge.

People everywhere dumping buckets of ice water on their heads to raise awareness for ALS, and then challenging others who have 24 hours to accept or donate 100 dollars to the cause.

But are people really aware of what they are raising awareness about or who this may impact?

"It stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis," said Kathleen Kelly, from the ALS Association. "It's a neurodegenerative disease that affects the upper and motor neurons of the person. it can present itself in a couple of different manners."

Often times people with the disease start to lose weakness in their upper extremities or lower extremities, sometimes tripping over something they've never had difficulties with.

For some, they also experience difficulties with their throat causing them to lose their voice, like Jennifer Durant, who hasn't let ALS stop her from her calling as an Episcopal priest.

"It's really difficult and extremely rewarding," said Jennifer through her computer generated voice response.

Jennifer is only able to speak through a computer that types up words from a dot on her forehead, by which it then speaks on her behalf.

Her husband Matthew, whose done the ice bucket challenge, says the journey with his wife is something he wouldn't trade for anything, which he says is a compliment to her as a person and as a priest.

"It's been an amazing journey filled with every emotion imaginable," he said.

Although the journey for those with ALS varies from as little as 2 years to as many as 20, Jennifer says she's grateful to still be able to serve through Christ because it's filled with "so much love."

If you want to learn more about ALS or donate here locally in Charlottesville, you can go to www.alsinfo.org for more .


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