Summer of 2019 marks the fifth anniversary of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This viral phenomenon encouraged people to dump buckets of ice over themselves and donate to an ALS organization. The Ice Bucket Challenge raised a tremendous amount of awareness about ALS and brought in $220 million for ALS organizations worldwide.

These funds made a measurable impact in the ALS community. For example, the funds helped support researchers who identified nine new genes related to ALS, and MT Pharma America brought to market Radicava, the first-FDA approved ALS drug in more than 20 years.

Here in the Chicago area, the Les Turner ALS Foundation received $1 million through the Ice Bucket Challenge.

We proudly established the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine, bringing together experts in ALS research and clinical care. By integrating the work in our laboratories with the work by our clinical care team, we’re aiming to uncover the causes of ALS, discover effective therapies and find potential drug targets.

These advancements, and others, provide us with hope.

The past five years have been exciting and we are striving to keep the momentum alive, but we need your help. For more information about ALS and the Les Turner ALS Foundation, and to volunteer or make a donation, visit

Andrea Pauls Backman

CEO, Les Turner ALS Foundation

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