ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Sweeps Nation

By  | 

LINCOLN, Neb.-- What would it take for you to dump a bucket of ice water on your head?

Thousands of people from around the country have been doing just that in a viral movement to bring awareness to ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

ALS is a neuro-degenerative disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord.

The nerves stop sending signals to the muscles and over time the muscles lose strength and stop working.

The challenge was started at the end of June by a family in Boston.

"It's an autoimmune disease and what happens, is you lose muscle mass so the nerves going to your muscles die, stop and your muscles shrink and deteriorate and are not functional. That's why my legs don't work. I can only raise my arms this high," said Bob Konigsmark from Lincoln. Konigsmark was diagnosed in March. He was walking and driving until May. Now, he's bound to a wheelchair.

"It's just changed, I mean, everything. From him not going to work everyday now, so our whole day-to-day routines have just been turned completely around," said Bob's wife, Robin.

Thanks to the thousands who have dumped ice water over their heads, the ALS Association said the disease has never had this much visibility. Critics say this is "slacktivism," people feeling like they're doing something, but not actually making a notable difference. But the ALS Association said from July 29 to August 12 last year The National Association office got $25,000 in donations. This year, that number has soared to $2.3 million.

"It's the only way we're ever going to find a halt or a cure for this disease- is make people aware and they want to maybe give," said Konigsmark.

For more information visit