ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Leonardo Di Caprio donates $100,000 while Matt Damon uses toilet water

leoLeonardo Di Caprio finally accepted David Beckham's Ice Bucket Challenge and challenged Canadian PM Stephen Harper. 'Hello from Lake Athabasca, we're here learning about the Canadian tar sands,' the actor wrote along with the video. 'My friends Chief Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation challenges Dave Collyer president of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Chief Courtoreille of the Mikisew Cree First Nation challenges Mark Little of Suncor Canada and The Sierra Club President Michael Brune challenges Shell CEO Ben van Beurden,' the star wrote.

'And me? In addition to a donation from my foundation, I challenge Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,' Leonardo wrote. The actor also reportedly donated $100,000 to the ALS association.

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Fellow Hollywood superstar Matt Damon also accepted the challenge, but faced some moral scruples about wasting water. 'Not only because there's a drought here in California, but because I co-founded and we envision a day where everybody has access to a clean drink of water,' the actor said. 'There are about 800 million people in the world who don't, so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy,' Matt said. So to highlight, the need for adequate sanitation, Matt Damon used toilet water from his bathrooms to fill up his bucket. Pointing out that the most

He pointed out that toilets in the West are cleaner than most drinking water supplies in the developing world. 'As disgusting as this may seem, hopefully it will highlight the fact this is a big problem,' Matt said. After nailing two birds with one stone, the actor went on to nominate George Clooney, Bono and Tom Brady.

How much money has the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised?

As of Monday, August 25, The ALS Association has received $79.7 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 25). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.7 million new donors to The Association.

The ALS Association's mission includes providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and eventually a cure for the disease. In addition, The Association's public policy efforts empower people to advance public policies in our nation's Capital that respond to the needs of people with ALS.

What is the ALS Bucket challenge?

Well the challenge involves pouring a bucket a bucket of cold ice water over their heads to raise awareness and fight ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig's disease. The challenge is simple, pour ice-cold water over your head and then challenge someone else to do it. The person challenged has to do so within 24 hours or donate $100 to fight ALS. Even if a person completes the challenge, they're welcome to donate the money.

What is ALS?

'ALS is a disease of the nervous system that affects the motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord,' says Dr Sudhir Kumar, senior consultant neurologist, Institute of Neurosciences, Hyderabad. These motor neurons carry signals from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. 'The disease is progressive in nature, which means once it starts it affects all body parts and ultimately causes complete loss of muscle movement and co-ordination. There is absolutely no hope of improvement in ALS and in the later stages the patient loses the ability to grab things, speak or even move any body part,' he explains.

How did it start?

The ALS Association credits Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player for making the challenge popular. He's been living with the disease since 2012, and it has become a phenomenon since Frates took the challenge at the end of last month.

Has it helped raise awareness?

The ALS Association has already received over $4 million in donations between July 29th and 12th August which suggests that people are definitely aware about the condition. Read more about ALS causes, diagnosis, symptoms and diagnosis

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