Ice Bucket challenge raises over $16M for ALS Canada

WATCH: MP Eve Adams announced Wednesday that the government of Canada will match, dollar-for-dollar, any funds raised by Canadians via the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

TORONTO – The Ice Bucket Challenge, which went viral over the summer, raised over $16 million for ALS Canada.

ALS Canada announced at a press conference in Ottawa Wednesday they will be investing $10 million in ALS research and $6 million in programs that deliver support to Canadians who suffer from ALS.

“We are incredibly grateful for all of the support and awareness for ALS in the last four months as a result of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” Tammy Moore, the CEO of ALS Canada, said in a statement.

READ MORE: Will the Ice bucket challenge change how non-profits fundraise?

The final amount was nearly three times the $5-million goal the organization announced in August.

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And in the United States, over $100 million was donated to the American ALS Association – nearly four times what the organization raised in 2013, according to The Financial Post.

The challenge went viral July and August as celebrities including Leonardo Di Caprio, George W. Bush, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, and Jimmy Fallon all took part.

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

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.

Symptoms can include weakness in a particular limb that gets progressively worse and spreads throughout the body. Some of the early symptoms including tripping, dropping things or muscle cramping, can sometimes be mistaken for common sides of aging.

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Eighty per cent of people diagnosed with ALS die within two to five years.