August 23, 2014 10:03 am

Ice bucket challenge: ALS Canada increases fundraising goal to $5 million

Watch above: Cindy Pom reports on the tremendous spike in donations ALS Canada has received because of the ice bucket challenge. 

TORONTO – ALS Canada has increased its fundraising goal for the second day in a row thanks to the enormous success of the ALS ice bucket challenge.

The organization announced Saturday it raised its goal to $5 million.

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“The awareness the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised for the terminal disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has been transformative,” read a press release. “We thank Canadians for their continued support.”

Canadians have taken on the ice bucket challenge head on, raising over $3 million in donations since the challenge went viral.

READ MORE: Young man with ALS shares heartbreaking response to Ice Bucket Challenge

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.

ALS is a non-contagious disease that affects approximately 3,000 Canadians. ALS Canada says two out of 100,000 people aged 18 and older are diagnosed each year.

The terminal disease is characterized by progressive paralysis of muscles throughout the body. Ninety per cent of ALS patients die within five years of diagnosis; some die less than a year after they are diagnosed.

READ MORE: What is ALS? The disease behind the ice bucket challenge

“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,” Tammy Moore, the interim CEO of ALS Canada 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.”

Canadians taking part in the challenge can donate online.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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