WATCH ABOVE: A year after the ice bucket challenge took the world by storm, Quebec’s ALS Society is inviting Quebecers to “join the wave” every August. Global’s Elysia Bryan-Baynes reports.
Montreal – The ice bucket challenge is back.
A year after the social media phenomenon took the world by storm, Quebec’s ALS Society gathered the media outside the Bell Centre on Friday to invite Quebecers to “join the wave” every August until a cure is found.
The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Society explained 76,000 Quebecers took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge last year, raising more than $2.66 million in donations in Quebec alone.
The grassroots movement that played out mostly on people’s social media pages also raised much needed awareness about the devastating disease.
People diagnosed with ALS face gradual paralysis and death.
They slowly lose their ability to walk, talk, swallow and eventually breathe; however their mind remains intact, leaving them locked in their bodies.
There is no cure.
WATCH: Jamie Orchard takes the “Every August Until a Cure” ice bucket challenge.
The money raised during the challenge is being spent on ALS research and support for families affected.
One local family that knows all-too-well the shock of an ALS diagnosis is the Stock family from the West Island.
Dean and Paula Stock and their three young children took the Ice Bucket Challenge in August of 2014.
Little did they know, a few months later in December, Dean would be diganosed with the very disease they were raising money for.
The news came as a huge shock to the family, but they quickly decided to fight and do everything possible to create something positive.
“We felt we had to do our part to continue raising awareness,” said Paula Stock.
Dean Stock’s brother, P.J. Stock, a retired Canadian hockey player who played with the Habs from 2000 to 2001, wrote his brother a public letter, which was featured on the ALS Society of Quebec’s Youtube channel.
To that end, the Stock family was featured in the new ALS public service announcement that will be playing all across Quebec beginning in August.
“The goal of the PSA is to educate people about ALS, the disease behind the ice bucket challenge,” explained Claudine Cook, Executive Director of the ALS Society of Quebec.
Paula Stock summed it up best: “It’s a powerful, heartfelt message that captures why we have to keep the challenge going in order to find treatments and support families.”