The NBC12 News staff is taking on the #ALSIceBucketChallenge, but we are doing it a little different.
As this craze has blown up on social media, some people are forgetting the real reason this started in the first place, to raise money and awareness about ALS.
Volunteers from the Richmond chapter of the ALS Association will staff our call 12 lines from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. As viewers call in their donations, NBC12 reporters and anchors will be getting an ice bath on live TV.
It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
ALS can strike anyone.
The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health caregiving later in the disease. It is important to be knowledgeable about your health plan coverage and other programs for which your may be eligible, including SSA, Medicare, Medical and Veteran Affairs benefits.