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Lately, it seems my social media outlets are all full of ice bucket challenge after #icebucketchallenge! It’s fun and exciting.  I especially enjoy watching all my friends and family participate and I’m thrilled celebrities are on board too.  The phenomenon has grown to include kids, bloopers and compilations.  I worry however, that the true meaning may be getting lost.  For this reason I thought I’d educate myself and hopefully all of you about the illness behind this challenge.  What does it really mean?  I had questions.   Now that I know more, I’m relieved that there is so much awareness and focus on this disease.  It’s a scary one!  Here’s some information:

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.  ALS leads to paralysis, vital organ failure and eventually death.  People between the ages of 40 and 70 get it and there is no known cause.  There is no cure and about half of people diagnosed die within three to five years after their diagnosis.

So how does this all translate for an individual who received this diagnosis?  It starts with twitching, fatigue, cramping, difficulty eating (chewing, swallowing) even speaking! Eventually they won’t be able to eat, speak, walk or breath without assistance.  There’s one medication people can turn to called Riluzole but this just slows the disease down by months.  There’s currently nothing promising to turn to.

Clearly, its absolutely horrible and I’m thrilled that the ice bucket challenge is bringing so much awareness to this incredible cause.  People need our help!

On that note, how can we actually help?  Some cold water and a video is great, but the whole point here is the donation.  Here is the link right to the donation page.  www.als.ca

Currently ALS Canada has reached 84% of their goal.  Lets help them reach it, or better yet, exceed that goal!  Every little bit counts! I challenge YOU to make a donation!

Health is everything.  I’m so grateful everyday for my health and the health and well-being of all those I care about.

Many blessings always!

Tanya

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