TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Around the country, Canadians have embraced the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, raising an unprecedented awareness for the terminal disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and opening their wallets donating over $200,000 to the national non-profit organization ALS Canada and the ALS Provincial Societies.
As more donations continue to come in across Canada, the organization has raised the fundraising goal to ask Canadians to make their Ice Bucket Challenge count, with a goal to raise 1.5 million dollars. The potential to increase the goal is imminent as Canadians should be able to raise at least 10 per cent of the donations raised in the US.
To Canadians participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge, please support Canadian ALS charities. ALS Canada and the Provincial Societies provide services and equipment to the 3,000 people in Canada living with ALS today and hope for the future through the national ALS Canada Research Program. Canadians can donate to ALS Canada and ALS Provincial Societies at als.ca/icebucketchallenge
A viral phenomenon, the Ice Bucket Challenge, started in the USA by the Frates Family, has propelled ALS into the national spotlight. Currently, 1,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease per year. ALS is a neuro-degenerative disease, characterized by rapidly progressive muscle weakness that causes paralysis of the body's most basic functions from mobility to communication and eventually to breathing. The average lifespan after diagnosis is two to five years, which means 1, 000 people will die every year because of ALS. Presently, there is no cure or effective treatment for ALS.
The dollars raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge will provide support services for clients and families living with ALS across Canada and fund the national ALS Canada Research Program.
To donate to any one of the Canadian ALS Societies, the public can go to als.ca/icebucketchallenge.
About ALS Canada
ALS Canada, founded in 1977, is the only national voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS and support for those with ALS. ALS Canada is the leading not-for-profit organization working nationwide to fund ALS research and, with the Provincial ALS Societies, working to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by ALS. For more information visit www.als.ca or follow us on Twitter @ALSCanada
ALS is a terminal disease characterized by progressive paralysis of muscles throughout the body. Ninety percent of ALS patients die within five years of diagnosis and some in less than one. An estimated 3,000 Canadians have the disease, yet there are currently no effective treatment options. ALS is caused by death of motor neurons, which connect the brain to the muscles. While the specific cause remains unknown, promising discoveries in recent years have provided significant clues that should pave the way for new therapies and an eventual cure.
SOURCE: ALS Canada
For further information: ALS Canada, Rebecca Grima, Director of Marketing and Communications, ALS Canada, [email protected]; For ALS Societies outside Ontario, please contact: ALS Society of Newfoundland & Labrador, Cheryl Power, Executive Director, [email protected], 709.634.9499; ALS Society of Nova Scotia, Kimberly Carter, CEO, [email protected], 902.454.3636; ALS Society of Prince Edward Island, Cindy Warren, Board Chair, 902-439-1600; ALS Society of New Brunswick, Michele Connors, Board Chair, [email protected], 506.333.7419; Société de la SLA du Québec, Claudine Cook, Executive Director, [email protected], 514.725.2653; ALS Society of Manitoba, Diana Rasmussen, Executive Director, [email protected], 204.837.1291; ALS Society of Saskatchewan, Lisa Pluhowy, President, [email protected] 306.949.4100; ALS Society of Alberta, Karen Caughey, Executive Director, [email protected], 403.228.3857; ALS Society of British Columbia and Yukon, Wendy Toyer, Executive Director, [email protected], 604.278.2257