The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a global phenomenon that changed the fight against ALS forever.
In the summer of 2014, three young men living with ALS, Anthony Senerchia, Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and inspired people around the world to dump ice water on their heads and donate to an ALS organization. Over 17 million people participated in the Challenge and raised $115 million for The ALS Association.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Has Dramatically Accelerated Our Fight
Since the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, we have been able to:
- Increase our annual funding for ALS research around the world by 187%.
- Double our capacity to deliver high-quality, local care in communities across the country.
- Accelerate the development of new therapies and the search for a cure.
Finding New Treatments and Cures
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge tripled our capacity to fund research. Since the Challenge, we have spent over $137 million on research, supporting approximately 500 research projects around the world.
One of those projects recently became the first FDA-approved drug to treat ALS funded with money raised by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It was one of three new drugs approved to treat ALS in just the past three years. We are currently funding research projects all over the world, including dozens of projects testing experimental treatments.
Expanding Access to Care
Since the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, we have more than doubled our nationwide clinical network serving people with ALS in their communities. We’ve expanded from 100 Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence, Recognized Treatment Centers and affiliated clinics before the Challenge to 222 today, and more than tripled our network of multidisciplinary clinics from 33 before the Challenge to 97 today.
This has improved our ability to deliver high-quality, accessible care locally by deploying over 200 care services staff across the country, allowing us to pioneer a groundbreaking approach where we create individual service plans for every person living with ALS and their loved ones.
We continue to maintain and expand our funding for Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence, currently 76, and Recognized Treatment Centers, currently 18, which ensures at least one day a week is dedicated to enabling people living with ALS to meet directly with doctors and ALS specialists.
Finding New Genes Connected to ALS
In the field of genomics, our ALS Ice Bucket Challenge investments were transformative. We funded one of the largest resources of ALS whole genome-sequencing data in the world, which has been shared with scientists around the globe and has led to the largest ALS sequencing study in the U.S.
Since the Challenge, at least 12 new genes linked to ALS have been identified.