Dump ice water over your head and donate to the cause. It's the latest craze taking over social media. But it's not just about challenging your friends or getting poured with ice cold water.
Families living with loved ones that have ALS want you to know the meaning behind the challenge, is much more. It's a life-threatening disease that affects many families nationwide.
"When you're in a hospital bed and you're immobile but you understand what's going on. He had a lot of fear, he would have choking problems. Anything voluntary. Using your hands, swallowing," said Kris Jurka.
Just a little more than one year after his ALS diagnosis, Kris Jurka's father, 78-year-old Henry Mikolajczyk passed away from the disease.
"I think he also had the rapid part of ALS where it just went so quick," said Jurka.
Jurka says he was an avid bowler and loved to spend most of his time, in the kitchen. But all of that was taken away after his diagnosis.
"What other people go through, what the people with ALS have or going through, the things that they lose. It's such a horrendous disease," said Jurka.
But now Jurka says she has hope for the future.
"I'm so thankful that maybe all this money is finally gonna make a difference. Cause when my mom says 75 years and there's nothing. There's no treatment. There's a medication that make potentially give you 90 more days. But it's an exorbitant cost and ridiculous," said Jurka.
Leaving doctors like neurologist Dr. Nathan Wyatt searching for answers.
"Finding treatment is very frustrating. There is only one drug that's FDA approved for ALS and it actually came out in the mid 90s. Even with that drug, the benefits are modest. We find that life expectancy might increase by 10 percent, usually less," said Dr. Wyatt.
There is a local support group for families living with ALS.
2nd Monday of every month @ 5:00pm
First Presbyterian Church - Tower Room 405
554 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Shannon Silberman at (423) 490-7707 or firstname.lastname@example.org By Alyssa Spirato