ALBANY, N.Y. – The Ice Bucket Challenge has taken over social media, and a local radio station is playing host to a large-scale challenge at Bob Ford Field.
Participants of the Ice Bucket Challenge can either dump ice water over their head or donate $100 to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. However, ALS said donations are up 1,000 percent from the same time period in 2013.
Those with the disease are appreciative.
“The reason behind it is to raise awareness for ALS,” Gene Kendrick said.
Kendrick used to be a news photographer in Albany. He was diagnosed with ALS in October 2013.
“Really basic things like bathing, dressing, bathroom challenges, eating,” he said. “Things of that nature are very difficult. Fortunately, I have my wife that is by my side 24/7, and the rest of my family is a lot of love and support.”
Kendrick receives treatment at St. Peter’s Hospital ALS Regional Center. Karen Spinelli is the manager.
“These people can’t be their own voice,” she said. “They can’t raise these buckets above their head.”
Spinelli said that since the videos have flooded the internet, people are calling and asking how to donate.
The challenge started with former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates. Frates has ALS.
“The real measure isn’t how long people will be on social media dumping water over their heads,” his mother Nancy Frates said. “The real measure is the commitment to the cause and follow-up.”
“I hope it’s not a flash in the pan,” Kendrick said. “We need to find a way to keep this going.”
DJs from Fly 92.3 have challenged Capital Region residents to join them at University at Albany’s Bob Ford Field Thursday to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Their goal is to have it be the world’s largest.
Registration for the challenge will open at 6:15 p.m. on Bob Ford Field. Buckets will be provided by Lowe’s, and Price Chopper will provide the ice.