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Watch Stephen Hawkins endorse the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Celebrity physicist Stephen Hawking became the latest celebrity to endorse the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and while his condition forbade him from taking the challenge, his children took it in his stead. The physicist who suffers from a motor neurone disease said: Because I had pneumonia last year, it would not be wise for me to have a bucket of cold water poured over me. But my children, Robert, Lucy and Tim, gallantly volunteered to take the challenge for me. I urge you to donate to the MNDA, to eliminate this terrible disease.

He nominated Lord Sainsbury, the University of Cambridge chancellor, and vice-chancellor professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz to take the challenge.

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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

Photo source: youtube.com

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