Friday, August 22, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Chris's sister, Meghan challenged him to the ALS ice bucket challenge on Saturday.  We were in Branson until late Sunday afternoon, so went ahead and made our donation the ALS Association.  Chris also accepted her challenge when we got home!   He returned the challenge to Ben Blakeman, Cody Long, his mom, and my mom!

So, Chris challenged my mom, then she challenged Margeurite, then she challenged me later Sunday night!  I thought it would be neat for Chris to pour the ice water over the balcony onto my head!  We had Hollyn stand on the porch and hold my iPhone to record!   I tensed up my neck muscles, and the water came down with a lot of force!   The ice hurt hitting my face, and I felt frozen the rest of the night!  I woke up Monday morning with the WORST neck ache!   At least it was for a good cause! 

Hollyn thought it was so cool, so she wanted to do it too. She wanted to challenge Hudson! 

A little ALS education from the The ALS Association Arkansas Chapter website:

What is ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually lead 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.
A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment -- "No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region.
As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.

Who Gets ALS

ALS is a disorder that affects the function of nerves and muscles. Based on U.S. population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. (That's 15 new cases a day.) It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.  According to the ALS CARE Database, 60% of the people with ALS in the Database are men and 93% of patients in the Database are Caucasian.
Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. However, cases of the disease do occur in persons in their twenties and thirties. Generally though, ALS occurs in greater percentages as men and women grow older. ALS is 20% more common in men than in women. However with increasing age, the incidence of ALS is more equal between men and women.

There are several research studies past and present investigating possible risk factors that may be associate with ALS.  More work is needed to conclusively determine what genetics and/or environment factors contribute to developing ALS.
Half of all people affected with ALS live at least three or more years after diagnosis. Twenty percent live five years or more; up to ten percent will live more than ten years.
There is some evidence that people with ALS are living longer, at least partially due to clinical management interventions, riluzole (Rilutek®) and possibly other compounds and drugs under investigation.

No comments: