Watch above: Cindy Pom reports on the tremendous spike in donations ALS Canada has received because of the ice bucket challenge.
TORONTO – ALS Canada increased its fundraising goal for the year from $10,000 to $1 million last week because of the success of the ice bucket challenge.
Now, they’ve increased it again to $3 million.
“We could never have imagined this,” Tammy Moore, the interim CEO of ALS Canada said Friday. “Where we’re sitting, currently this morning, we were looking at $2.5 million across the societies, across the country.”
According to the ALS Canada website, they have raised $2,292,115 – roughly 76 per cent of their $3 million goal.
Moore attributes much of the success to the ice bucket challenge. The society holds other fundraisers, nearly 100 walks across Canada as well, but they’re mostly in June or September.
The ice bucket challenge has garnered international attention for the disease through videos, mainly by celebrities and professional athletes, pouring buckets of ice water on their head and, sometimes, donating to ALS societies.
American ALS supporters have raised nearly $31.5 million.
There are nearly 3,000 people in Canada with ALS, roughly 1,100 of those live in Ontario.
“ALS is indiscriminate. It doesn’t matter what your sex is, what your ethnicity. It will strike. Ninety per cent of the cases are completely sporadic, only 10 per cent of the cases are familial,” Moore said Friday. “You feel everything. You’ve got that itch on your nose but you can’t lift your arm to be able to scratch it. You need to crouch but you can’t because your muscles aren’t working.”
The disease usually begins as weakness or numbness in a particular limb but quickly progresses to the entire body.
Some of the early symptoms include tripping, dropping things, or muscle cramping and can sometimes be mistaken for the common signs of aging.