Ice Bucket Challenge makes big splash in Georgia - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Ice Bucket Challenge makes big splash in Georgia

ATLANTA (CBS46) -

As of Friday, the Ice Bucket Challenge had raised more than $53 million for ALS research across the country, and that support is making a big splash locally.

ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a deadly disease with no cure. Once diagnosed, patients often die within two to five years, but not before suffering loss of speech, even paralysis.

"It's a malicious, horrible disease," said Becky Kidd. The Avondale Estates woman was diagnosed in January 2012.

The Georgia Chapter of the ALS Association serves more than 400 patients, like Kidd, by helping fund clinics and offering support.

"We help meet a variety of needs, whether its through the wheelchair loan programs, or speech-generating devices," explained Sarah Embro, Executive Director.

Embro said the Ice Bucket Challenge has helped increase local awareness and support.

As an example, she cites the group's upcoming fundraiser walk next month. They raised more than $100,000 just this past week alone.

"It really touches you," said Embro.

Kidd said she prays for a cure, not just for her, but for the 30,000 other Americans who suffer. However, she also says every time someone takes on the Ice Bucket Challenge, they are making a difference.

"This last month with the Ice Bucket Challenge has been inspiring and just really recharged me with a lot of hope," said Kidd.

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