The challenge, which has gone viral on the internet, raises money and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive disorder that weakens the sufferer’s muscles until they are unable to breathe.
Many will pass away within 40 months of a diagnosis. Lou Gehrig, a Yankees first baseman in the 1930s, passed away in 1941 at age 37 from the disorder.
30,000 people are suffering with ALS right now. Since the challenge became popular six weeks ago, ALS has raised more than $40 million in that time, and awareness has increased at least 50 percent. The money will go to research for treatment or cures.
People taking the challenge can either raise awareness, or donate money, or both. They can also challenge others.
Matzner took the challenge on Tuesday morning in front of the Reporter offices in Hoboken, in front of the staff.
“Even though I’m the last person in the country to do the ice bucket challenge,” Matzner said, “I still want to explain what it’s all about. A lot of people have seen the photos and heard about it, but don’t really still know…it’s a very fast acting disease and 30,000 people are suffering with it right now. So anything that can help with research into cures or treatment would be a great thing.”
Rumor has it that Mayor Felix Roque has challenged reporter and political columnist Al Sullivan to take the challenge soon. Stay tuned!
(Luckily it’s been pretty warm out. The big challenge was to keep the ice from melting!)
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