ALS challenges hits Castle Country
Utah State University Eastern staff members Kristian Olsen, Austin Preston, Jeff Spears, Sharon Jones, Kim Booth Greg Dart, Erin Rowley, Debbie Boone-Jim, Liz Prettyman, Kim Pratt and Sam Sumeracki take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The Challenge has taken the entire United State by storm this summer as more than $79 million has been raised to fund amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's Disease research and treatment. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. According to the ALS Association, who started the challenge, the summer program has brought 1.7 million new donors to the fight against ALS and has also provided a level of awareness that is impossible to quantify.