TORONTO – The ice bucket challenge continues to gain momentum and ALS Canada hopes to benefit from the sudden interest in the fatal disease.
“People live on average about two to five years after diagnosis,” said David Taylor, the Director of Research for ALS Canada.
ALS Canada had 1,117 in 2013 clients but received 2,600 requests for equipment, according to the organization’s annual report.
“The average family with ALS would have $150 ,000 to $250,000 worth of economic burden over the two or three years after diagnosis,” said Taylor.
On Monday afternoon, ALS Canada increased its ice bucket challenge fundraising goal to $1 million. The original goal was $10,000.
But, Taylor said, the organization could help many more families if the increased interest leads to more donations in the Canadian foundation.
Some people taking the challenge and donating aren’t aware that the Canadian group does not benefit from funds given to the ALS Association, which is an American group.
According to NBC, from July 29 to August 18, the ALS Association has raised more than $15 million. During the same time period last year the organization raised $1.8 million.
Canada is collecting some donations but it’s a small amount compared to the American Association.
“We’re hoping people will go to www.als.ca/icebucketchallenge to donate,” said Taylor.
The long-time ALS researcher says everyone benefits from increased public awareness but would like to see Canadian challengers promoting the Canadian donation page.
“Ultimately those dollars are going to be there to help their neighbours and the people they know and love,” said Taylor.
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