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Local ALS Families Appreciate Support from Viral Bucket Challeng - KOAM TV 7

Local ALS Families Appreciate Support from Viral Bucket Challenge

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Millions of dollars have been raised for ALSO research, and those who suffer the burden of the painful disease are thankful for the viral awareness. The progressive neuro degenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.


Jenny Boatright of Joplin lost her mother, Carol Miller, a former Joplin School District and Franklin Tech teacher to Lou Gehrig's disease in 2009.


"Those last few moments with your parents are special. They say you take your first breath when you're born and your last breath when you die, and I was glad to be there with her and tell her it was going to be ok." Boatright says.


So far ice bucket challenges have raised more than 50 million dollars worldwide for research.


Although her mother has passed, Boatright says...she's thankful for the funds coming in so that others won't have to bear the burden of losing loved ones.


"We are...their voice, because who else is going to do it except their families and supporters and advocates that are out there that's going to tell them this is what ALS is. This is what it does. We need a cure. And we need people to continue to support us as well." She says.


For Tammie Greenberg of Carl junction it was 2007 when she realized something was wrong.


"I couldn't run. I couldn't run. I thought - what's wrong with me, you know?" she explains.


It took doctors nearly 2 years and one million dollars worth of testing before diagnosing her with ALS. The disease has weakened her muscles, and left her in a wheelchair.


"There are people in Joplin with ALS that we don't hear about. This is really hard for me. I was a farmer and I was a drama person, so my voice was one of my trademarks." Greenberg says.


Even with slurred speech, one thing that keeps tammie smiling - is how much the viral video has done for awareness and foundations.  


"One year ago we had one million dollars in donations, nationally. Now because of this silly video, Now we have over 42 or 50 million dollars." Greenberg says.


Tammie says she hopes the increase in funding will result in treatment that help people with ALS to live longer lives and maybe even a cure someday.  For now, she continues to live independently and takes life day by day.


"Live in the moment. You can't think about death." Greenberg says.


For more information on how to donate to ALS, click this link
http://www.alsa.org/donate/

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