In 2014, two men with ALS took it upon themselves to make a statement with simply a bucket, ice, and water. What started as a simple challenge quickly became a major movement that shed light on an often overlooked disease. Not only did the Ice Bucket Challenge spread awareness about ALS across the globe, it also generated $115 million for the ALS Association. There was nothing like the challenge before, and nothing like it since in terms of virality for a medical cause.
According to a report done by RTI, because of the Ice Bucket Challenge the ALS Association was able to increase our annual funding of research around the world by a staggering 187%- committing nearly $90 million around the world in research funding between 2014 and 2018. And since then we’ve been able to make major scientific advances (like discovering 5 new genes), expand care for those living with ALS (our clinical network saw a 50% expansion), and grow the federal government’s investment in disease research.
Five years after the Ice Bucket Challenge soaked the world, the pace of discovery has increased tremendously, bringing ALS researchers closer than they have ever been to real breakthroughs in diagnosing, treating, and eventually curing this disease. –Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of The ALS Association.
Locally, the Ice Bucket Challenge had a tremendous impact on The ALS Association Texas Chapter and has enabled us to expand our services across the state. As a result of the challenge, we’ve been able to provide $300,000 in financial assistance to people with ALS and their families, established eight new clinic partnerships to provide crucial multidisciplinary care for patients, and have connected with 1,530 new people with ALS since 2014. We’ve also been able to improve our equipment inventory in our loan closet, to ensure more people with ALS have access to the equipment they need without the financial burden.
We’ve made so many strides since 2014 and we couldn’t have done any of this without your help! The Ice Bucket Challenge was unlike any other social media movement in terms of spreading awareness for a disease and we’re so grateful for each and every person who participated and for everyone who continues to advocate for those with ALS.
The ALS Association is committed to providing transparency and a painting a clear picture of our fund-allocation. If you’d like to see how money raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge has been used take a look at our ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Commitments page. Interested in diving deeper into the progress we’ve made? Read the report and learn more about the impact of the Ice Bucket Challenge here.