ALS Challenge Brings Awareness

ALS Challenge Brings Awareness

By Anh Nguyen The ALS ice bucket challenge was big during in the summer of 2014. We don’t hear much about it now that the weather has gotten colder, but awareness continues. Several people at LHS participated, including the administrative team, for a variety of reasons. Special Education teacher Tami Kaiser participated. “My mother had

By Anh Nguyen

The ALS ice bucket challenge was big during in the summer of 2014. We don’t hear much about it now that the weather has gotten colder, but awareness continues. Several people at LHS participated, including the administrative team, for a variety of reasons.

Special Education teacher Tami Kaiser participated.

“My mother had ALS. I did the ice bucket challenge and gave a donation,” she said.

The LHS football coaches (Daniel Beckmann, Coach Macke, Coach Hitz, Coach Shannon White, & Coach Genrich) also participated in the ice bucket challenge the night of the Fall Sports Link Up after our football scrimmage.

You have 2 options when you accept the challenge. First, you can dump the ice bucket over your head and then nominate 3 or 4 people to do it. Second, you can donate $100 to ALS. When you do the ice bucket challenge or donate $100, that means you are helping fund research for a cure.

“I participated in the way of donating instead of actually doing the ice bucket challenge,” ELL department chair Susan Hertzler said. “My best friend’s father died of ALS in the year 2000, and I donated on his behalf. My friend shared that it really meant a lot to her that I did that.”

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death.

When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Speech-Language Pathologist Jennifer Smith has worked with many patients who have ALS.

“I helped them with communication using technology to communicate, or their eyes or something they pushed with parts of their body,” Smith said. “I also helped when they had trouble swallowing. ALS is very sad disease, as there is no cure, and a person who has it gets much worse over time. So I helped to make them able to enjoy what they have left.”

“I think is a good way to raise awareness so people know more about it,” Smith added. “And it helps to start a conversation – meaning people who use Facebook or other social media, they see it and can learn something, but I was not in favor the amount of water that was wasted, so I didn’t use the water part.”

If you are interested in taking the challenge, or donating, you still can. See the ALS Association website for more information.

http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html

Greg Keller
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