This afternoon, Department of Health (DHH) Secretary Kathy Kliebert took the "Ice Bucket Challenge." ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter Director Kelly Viator challenged Secretary Kliebert, and this afternoon Viator soaked Kliebert with four gallons of frigid ice water.
"I'm happy to answer the challenge in the spirit of raising awareness about a terrible disease for which there is no cure," said LDH Secretary Kathy Kliebert.
The "Ice Bucket Challenge" is a social media challenge to either be doused with a bucket of ice water or make a donation to the ALS association. The goal is to raise money to help find a cure for ALS and also raise awareness about the disease.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and eventually results in death.
With only about half of the general public knowledgeable about ALS, the Ice Bucket Challenge is making a profound difference. Since July 29, The ALS Association has welcomed more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.
Currently, there is only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ALS, which only modestly extends survival by two to three months. Consequently, ALS is 100 percent fatal. In addition to acclimating to the challenges that come with losing control of voluntary muscle movement, people with the disease progressively lose their ability to eat, speak, walk, and eventually breathe.
Experience the #IceBucketChallenge phenomenon that's spreading ALS Awareness across social media. Challenge your friends and family today!