Pictured above is the Ada High School Football captains taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. They were nominated to do the challenge by their coach and they nominated all other captains in Division VII. When asked why they wanted to do this, the players said, “Why not?” They are proud to be a part of the fundraising effort and liked that it was a fun and easy way to help raise awareness about the disease. (Ada Herald/Megan Watson)
Pictured above is the Ada High School Football captains taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. They were nominated to do the challenge by their coach and they nominated all other captains in Division VII. When asked why they wanted to do this, the players said, “Why not?” They are proud to be a part of the fundraising effort and liked that it was a fun and easy way to help raise awareness about the disease. (Ada Herald/Megan Watson)
ADA — The extremely popular and fast spreading “ALS Ice Water Challenge” has made it’s way to Ada. The Ice Water Challenge is a mission to raise money and awareness for a horrible disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a disease in which certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord slowly die. These nerve cells are called motor neurons, and they control the muscles that allow you to move the parts of your body.

There is currently no cure. People who have ALS gradually become more disabled. How quickly the disease gets worse is different for everyone. Some people live with ALS for several years, but over time, ALS makes it hard to walk, speak, eat, swallow, and breathe. These problems can lead to injury, illness, and eventually death. In most cases, death will occur within three to five years after symptoms begin, although some people do live for many years, even decades.

To explain it simply, people are dumping buckets of ice water on themselves, donating money to ALS, and nominating their friends to do the same.

They make a video of the whole message and share it via social media sites such as facebook. It sounds silly, looks silly and feels silly. But that is the point: it is fun and fun to watch and as a result it draws attention, which is then diverted to a great cause.  

The challenge has been spreading. Ohio Northern cheerleadering squad and football team have already participated. Their Ice Water Challenge was done in honor of William Croy who has been fighting ALS since being diagnosed in 2010. An ONU Alum as well as member of the ONU Athletic Hall of Fame, Croy was very moved by being included.

Ada resident Stacey Boyd Park and her family welcome the Ice Water Challenge and reflect on happy memories of someone they lost to ALS. A father, brother and proud grandfather, John Boyd aka Smokie was diagnosed in March 2011 and past away at home July 5, 2013.

“I think if he were alive today he would be very touched to see so many people caring and learning about this disease.... He would say “Pour the ice bucket on me. But don’t get my hair wet”, Stacey shared as she smiled remembering a joke her dad always made about his hair. The ice bucket warms John’s families heart and gives them hope that people who suffer with this or have this in their family genes, will have hope.

Who knows.... maybe dumping buckets of ice on our heads will lead to a cure.

ALS is rare. Each year in the United States and most of the world, only 1 to 2 people out of 100,000 get ALS. Just because something is rare, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be top priority. With no cure and a fast disease progression, fundraisers like the Ice Water Challenge are the key to ensuring the research gets done and a treatment is developed. If you haven’t gotten involved yet, grab a bucket of ice. Share your videos on the Ada Herald Facebook page