Today, The ALS Association announced it has surpassed $10 million in "Ice Bucket" donations. Specifically, as of Saturday, August 16, 2014, The ALS Association has received $11.4 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 16). These donations have come from existing donors and 220,255 new donors to The Association.
In a message posted today to The ALS Association's website, which discusses how The ALS Association will use this incredible outpouring of support to fight ALS, Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association said:
"Never before have we been in a better position to fuel our fight against this disease. Increased awareness and unprecedented financial support will enable us to think outside the box. We will be able to strategize about efforts in ways that previously would not have been possible, all while we work to fulfill and enhance our existing mission priorities nationwide."
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, 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. There is no cure and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival. Veterans are approximately twice as likely be diagnosed with the disease.
"Words cannot express how incredibly grateful we are to the tens of thousands of people who have donated to support the fight against ALS," said Newhouse. "The money and the awareness generated through this effort are truly game-changers in the fight against this disease."