ALS benefit

The ice-bucket challenge to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, has taken over social media. It came on the heels of another cold-water challenge that encouraged people to donate to charity.

When participating in the challenge, people are featured in videos dumping an icy cold bucket of water over their head. They also call out others to take the challenge and may make a donation to support the fight against ALS.

The ice-bucket challenge is raising awareness and money. Drew Clouse of Tiffin, who lost his mother, Chris, to the disease Oct. 27, said the challenge is great in both ways.

Clouse said he thinks it has been 75 years since Gehrig made his farewell speech from baseball.

“There’s been absolutely no progress made,” he said.

Clouse said he only had heard of ALS prior to his mother’s diagnosis in December 2010. She had shown symptoms in the summer before her diagnosis, he said.

He said doctors don’t know what causes the disease, and generally, people die three to five years from diagnosis.

“It’s always fatal,” he said.

Clouse said a person suffering from ALS has his or her mental capacities, but the body quits. The person slowly deteriorates.

He said his mother’s struggles started with her legs, arms and back.

“Her legs were the first ones to go,” he said.

The disease also takes a toll on the family. Clouse said his family cared for his mother, and his father suffered mentally and physically.

“He had to be around her 24/7,” he said.

A local organization to which people can donate is Help and Assistance for Neuromuscular Disorders of Seneca County, which focuses on all neurological diseases and was started in Chris’ honor. HAND’s address is PO Box 32, Bascom, OH 44809.

Clouse was challenged by his sister and a friend whose grandfather died from ALS and accepted the challenge Tuesday evening.

New Riegel resident Andy Brickner was called out for the challenge by his cousin Sunday. He accepted the challenge and then called out his wife, Katie. Eight-year-old Mckenzie also participated.

It was the couple’s first time being called out in the challenge.

“That was cold,” Mckenzie said after being doused with cold water.

Katie said it felt awful after her husband dumped the icy cold water over her head. She said her forehead still was frozen.

“It was easier than the polar bear jump, that’s for sure,” she said.

The Brickners made a donation to ALS, too.

“(The challenge) is bringing awareness to ALS,” Katie said.

Tiffin resident Larry Kisabeth said ALS is a subject one needs to be serious about, but the challenge involves having fun and helping a worthy cause.

Kisabeth was called out for the ALS challenge by his son and had been called out in May by his daughter-in-law to participate in another challenge that encouraged him to donate to the charity of his choice.

This time around, he took the icy bath and is donating to fight ALS. He said he dumped two buckets of water on himself and called out his brother and nephew.

“I haven’t heard back from them yet,” he said.

Kisabeth said the dumping happens so fast that the wet clothes – not the cold temperatures – stick with a person doing it.

“It’s doable, even for an old guy,” he said.

Ben Nutter, a captain on Tiffin Fire Rescue Division, was challenged by a friend, and a colleague at the department slowly dumped the water from atop a ladder truck. Most everyone at the department is participating in the challenge.

“Claire emptied out her piggy bank and challenged me. She sent it to me Saturday night, and I did it Sunday morning,” he said.

Nutter, who also is making a donation to fight ALS, said he challenged his two children and a firefighter in Michigan.

“My two kids did it yesterday,” he said.