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As of Tuesday, August 26, The ALS Association has received $88.5 million in donations compared to $2.6 million during the same time period

last year (July 29 to August 26). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.9 million new donors to The Association, which is incredibly grateful for this tremendous outpouring of support.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and only one drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival.

"We are simply awe-struck at the incredible generosity that has poured forth to help fight this disease," said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. "Words cannot express how grateful we are to the nearly two million people who have donated and even more than that who have likely taken the challenge. You have all made an incredible effort in the fight against this disease."

Just one week ago, donations totaled $22.6 million. In just seven days, donations have skyrocketed by an average of $9 million per day, now totaling $88.5 million.

"Every day, given this dramatic increase in funding, the scope of what's possible when it comes to fighting this disease has changed and continues to change," Newhouse continued. "Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, we are putting a decision-making process in place to address how this money will be spent. This isn't a matter of spending these dollars quickly—it's a matter of investing these dollars prudently to achieve maximum impact in our quest to help people living with the disease and those yet to be diagnosed."

The ALS Association's mission includes providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and eventually a cure for the disease. In addition, The Association's advocacy efforts empower people to advance public policies in our nation's Capital that respond to the needs of people with ALS.

"We appreciate the numerous emails and phone calls from people who have very clear ideas as to how this money should be spent. While we don't yet have a percentage breakdown of how the money will be allocated, I want to assure donors and public that ALS research and care services to people living with ALS are top priorities for The Association," continued Newhouse.

For inquiries regarding the use of these funds or other information about the Ice Bucket Challenge, please email [email protected].

SOURCE The ALS Association

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