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ALS Association raises ‘unprecedented’ $13.3 million as Ice Bucket Challenge takes off

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-18 08:30:51-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The ALS Association announced Sunday they have received “unprecedented” giving, as the organization has received $13.3 million in the last several weeks.

According to a press release on ALSA.org, the total surpasses the $1.7 million donated during the same time period last year, July 29 to August 17.

The association stated the money came from existing donors as well as 259,505 new donors. In a message from ALS Association President and CEO Barbara J. Newhouse released Saturday, officials said the Ice Bucket Challenge has encouraged many people to donate. Click here for her complete message, which details the groups’ priorities in the fight against the disease.

Newhouse stated Saturday: “I know that many people are wondering what The ALS Association is going to do with these donations, and my answer is this: invest prudently in helping people with ALS and their families and caregivers in the battle against the disease, while resolutely pursuing all avenues to extend, improve and ultimately save lives.”

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. According to the ALS A: “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (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.”

FOX 13 News has participated in the challenge this week, see the videos below for footage of various on-camera personalities taking the challenge. Click here to visit the ALS Association’s website.