Viral nature of Ice Bucket Challenge raises major money for ALS Association

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The Ice Bucket Challenge to raise support for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) continues to go viral on YouTube and Facebook, but now the fundraiser for patients is getting some unexpected results.

The idea is to make a donation or douse yourself with a bucket of ice, but it seems that the spirit of generosity is taking over.  In just one year the challenge has gone from raising $1.9 million to raising more than $22 million.

Leslie Ryan of the ALS Association Rocky Mountain Chapter says, “some people have big concerns that fundraising hasn't been happening because people have just been dumping a bucket of ice, but that's not true most people are dumping the ice, having some fun and making a donation.”

The Ice Bucket Challenge is everywhere.  You see regular folks doing it as well as celebrities like Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Many of our colleagues at FOX31 Denver and Colorado's Own Channel 2 have taken part.

Doctors, nurses and even patients participated at Swedish Medical Center.

The event was held in honor of ALS patient Mac Gordon who died this year.  His wife Sharon says her family is inspired by the overwhelming support the challenge is receiving. “We're just thinking about Mac and how much he would have loved seeing this because he always wanted to increase awareness.”

Even Swedish Medical Center's Chief Operating Officer Daniel Miller took the challenge, getting doused while wearing his best suit.  Miller challenges others to also support the cause saying, “Just do it, now's the time, these patients don't have a lot of time left (and) they need your support.”

ALS patient Don Stengel says the success of the challenge brings hope and adds, “We're going to find a cure for this one day and hopefully soon.”

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