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Russell Alexander’s #IceBucketChallenge for ALS

Russell Alexander’s #IceBucketChallenge for ALS

Accepting the challenge from Janie Alexander, Russell completed his ice bucket challenge and threw down the gauntlet challenging Jamie Alexander at ESG, Lee Rosen in North Carolina and the lawyers at Russell Alexander, Collaborative Family Lawyers.

The Globe and Mail has recently reported:

Until late last month, the ice bucket challenge existed for months on the Internet as a silly social media dare with no connection to any charity. Then, on July 29th, a Boston man with ALS filmed himself dumping ice on his head, and challenged viewers to do the same or give to ALS research. Before that moment, ALS was a tiny voice in the loud world of big attention-grabbing causes like breast cancer and AIDS.


The donations are unlike anything the ALS Society of Canada has seen before. Due to overwhelming traffic, it has taken down its regular website and directed all visitors to its Ice Bucket Challenge page. While the campaign started in the United States, Canadian participants helped to direct roughly $400,000 in donations to the organization (and its provincial affiliates) on Tuesday alone. In total, the campaign has raised almost $800,000. As a comparison, in the entire summer period last year, “we’re talking just thousands of dollars,” said Interim CEO Tammy Moore.

In the U.S., the numbers are massive: $31.5-million (U.S.) in donations compared with just $1.9-million in the same period – July 29 to Aug. 20 – last year.

What it’s all about? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells we use to control our muscles. It can start with tightness or weakness in certain muscles, and eventually progresses until a person loses the ability to walk, speak, swallow and even breathe. While these functions deteriorate, the disease leaves cognitive functions mostly intact: a person with ALS is aware of what is happening to them. There is no cure.

ALS in Canada: 3,000: the rough number of people currently living with ALS in Canada; 1,000: the estimated number who will be diagnosed in Canada this year; roughly the same number of people will die from the disease this year; 90 per cent: the proportion of ALS cases where there is no hereditary link to the disease. ALS is indiscriminate, and strikes regardless of age, ethnicity, gender – or family history.

Top countries by participation in the ice bucket challenge: 

1. United States
2. Australia
3. New Zealand
4. Canada
5. Mexico
6. Brazil
7. Germany
8. Philippines
9. Puerto Rico
10. India

To lean more or to donate visit the ALS Society of Canada.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.