Families Impacted By ALS Grateful for Ice Bucket Challenge

By Ashley Doerzbacher

Published 08/18 2014 05:39PM

Updated 08/18 2014 05:47PM

ALTOONA - Everyone is doing it. From Governor Tom Corbett, to Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney Crosby, even Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger; thousands of people have participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
"Its spreading like wildfire. It's pretty amazing to know that people that don’t even have any tie to ALS are doing it," said Chelsea Laret, whose brother died from ALS.
Chelsea Laret's has a tie though, her brother Dustan passed away last year after suffering from ALS.
"He was unable to speak at that time, lost his vocal ability, but he was through the computer, was typing with his eyes, and was able to spread the message as much as he could. I know he's happy right now."
Over the last three weeks, $15.6 million has been raised for the ALS Association, compared to just $1.8 million this time last year.
Betty and James Slowik are blown away by that. They lost their father John six years ago. Until the time he was diagnosed, neither of them knew anything about the disease.
"He's smiling up in heaven knowing that we're doing this right now and everyone is raising awareness," said Betty.
They say since the challenge started, people are asking more questions about ALS. They said with all the support, though, also comes some criticism.
"Why dump ice on you? Why don't you just donate? Because you're bringing awareness regardless of what you're doing," said James.
The Slowiks and Laret said the challenges are inspiring more and more people to become aware of ALS.
"So if you get nominated, you better do the ice bucket challenge," said Betty.

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