Tulsans Hope To Start Second Wave Of Ice Bucket Challenges

Wednesday, August 19th 2015, 11:13 pm
By: Emory Bryan

It was a year ago when the Ice Bucket Challenge took off on social media – raising more than $220 million for research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - and now it's getting a fresh start.

Wednesday night, two dozen people on Guthrie Green dumped buckets of ice water over their heads, hoping to start a new wave of fundraising for ALS.

It was just luck that the day of the ice bucket challenge turned out to be one of the coolest of the summer, Wednesday night.

That made the ice last a little longer, and the challenge a little stronger, but no one was complaining after the success of the effort last year.

"The organizations helping people with ALS have been able to do so much more since then," said MDA Executive Director, Becky Pring.

The community of people with ALS in Tulsa is small - maybe 150 people - but the support around them is growing as people learn more about the disease. People like Dan Horwitz.

Ice Bucket Challenge Videos

"There's a certain helplessness and hopelessness about it because there's no really effective drugs for it," he said.

Horwitz lost his wife Nancy to ALS last November, just a few months after the ice bucket craze started.

He said, "I brought that little film back in and showed it to my wife and that was a happy moment for her, seeing me getting drenched like that."

So that's why when the crowd lined up Wednesday, he was back to get drenched.

The groups that support ALS patients in Tulsa hope the challenge starts a new round of videos, challenges and fundraising.

8/21/2015 Related Story: Green Country ALS Support Group Takes Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS patient, Steve Snider said, "Does me a lot of good to know people care and they're working to find a cure for the disease."

Snider was diagnosed two years ago and, more than once, said he was lucky because his ALS is moving slowly.

"Other people have forms of it that move so quickly that it's not even fair as far as I'm concerned," he said.

But there is new hope; just this week researchers announced a breakthrough finding, unraveling a specific protein linked to ALS - research fueled by money from the challenge last year.