Ice Bucket Challenge Helps Find ALS-related Gene
The 2014 viral phenomenon known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” actually led to a scientific breakthrough towards finding a cure for ALS. Director of the ALS Association of Louisiana, Kelly Viator, says awareness attributes to dollars raised.
“From those dollars the ALS Association was able to contribute $1 million to Project MinE, which is the lead in this effort,” Viator said.
Through those donations, Project MinE has identified a gene that’s connected to the disease, which will help develop new targeted therapy to treat ALS. Viator says all the small donations can make a big difference.
“Every dollar counts. More specifically as it relates to Ice Bucket, every drop adds up,” Viator said.
An estimated 15 million people took the challenge, raising more than $115 million for ALS research. Viator says as effective as the Ice Bucket Challenge was, she doesn’t see it being repeated anytime soon.
“It was organic. It wasn’t anything that was created. It just happened naturally, and as hard as many people have tried to create something like that, it just won’t happen,” Viator said.