The social media sensation that took Canada and much of the world by storm last August and September has raised $16.2 million for ALS research and support in Canada.
ALS Canada announced more than 260,000 Canadians participated in the ice bucket challenge last summer and fall.
ALS Societies across Canada will invest $10 million in ALS research and $6 million in programs that deliver critical support to Canadians living with the disease, the organization said.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a neurodegenerative disease that kills the cells in the body that control movement.
The “living wires” which connect a person's brain to their muscles degenerate, leading to a loss of mobility and eventual paralysis, changes or complete loss of speech and eventually the ability to breathe. ALS is a terminal disease that has no cure, and no effective treatment.
Around 2,500 to 3,000 Canadians live with ALS, and it is estimated 1,000 Canadians will die because of ALS. The average lifespan for a person with ALS is two to five years.
Brain Canada, a national non-profit organization that enables and supports brain research in Canada, has announced it will match all funds Canada's ALS Societies invest for research, which brings the total research investment to $20 million.
The research projects selected for funding will be announced starting as early as December 2014.
“We are incredibly grateful for all of the support and awareness for ALS in the last four months as a result of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” said Tammy Moore, CEO of ALS Canada, in a press release.
“We know donors and our community will be pleased we have demonstrated strong stewardship of the gift we have received, and that, with the matching research funds from Brain Canada the total impact of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is $26 million. We want to thank all of our donors and assure you we understand how important this is to people and their families living with ALS.”