Ice Bucket Challenge great for ALS awareness

SUNBURY – As the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is sweeping the internet, the ALS Association has received more than $70-million in donations, according to the association.    A local doctor says that is great news for ALS awareness.

 

Dr. Scott Friedenberg is the systems director of neuromuscular diseases at Geisinger Health System,  “Getting people more aware of it is the hallmark of how diseases really get managed in the community.  I think nowadays with the Internet, and with people becoming more educated and eager to take control of their health, awareness really lets a person be in charge.”

 

Friedenberg explained what ALS is, “It’s a disease where the nerves that control strength and motor function tend to die away.  A patient over the course of a handful of years will progressively get weaker.  It typically starts in an arm or leg, but as it progresses, it can be pretty difficult to live with, affecting speech and swallowing and breathing.” ALS is terminal, he says.

 

Friedenberg continued, “One of the toughest things about it is we really don’t know exactly what causes it.  There is really no preference geographically.  It affects men and women equally from all over the world.  The goal right now has really been focusing on improving their quality of life and trying to generate revenue to try and find a cure for this disease.”

 

He will be doing the ice bucket challenge himself with some colleagues at Bloomsburg, who are part of an ALS team.  You can hear more from Dr. Friedenberg from WKOK’s Sunrise program online at www.wkok.com.  (Ali Stevens)

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