#icebucketchallenge has local cause

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Did you do the #icebucketchallenge?

Show us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NBC15Madison

Or Tweet us: twitter.com/nbc15_madison

Would you like to donate?

ALS Association: www.alsa.org/

Muscular Dystrophy Association: mda.org/

Tough as Steele: www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/c965/tough-as-steele-taking-down-als

 

If you've been on Facebook or other social media the last few weeks, you've probably heard of the "ice bucket challenge."

It raises money and awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The disease robs the body of muscle use. There is no cure, and the prognosis is two to five years, but the challenge is lending hope to the future of this disease, and help with the fight.

"We say, it provides a voice to our clients. and a lot of our clients, they do lose the ability to speak at some points. so this is a way for them to have a voice," said Rebecca Hildebrand, the Area Director for Muscular Dystrophy Association of Wisconsin.

She also says it's brought this rare disease to the forefront.

"Perfectly healthy people are sitting in a doctors office and finding out that they may have just 5 years to be here, and I don't think people understand fully what that means until you start hearing some of the ice bucket challenges," said Hildebrand. It started with an athelete out in Boston who's only 29 years old who was diagnosed with it, and it's just given a voice to those people who live with ALS every day."

Here's how the challenge works. Once you get nominated, you can either dump a bucket of ice over your head, donate money to the cause, or both.

Most people have been donating to ALSA, the ALS Association, at http://www.alsa.org/ but there aren't many local connections to the association and South Central Wisconsin. MDA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, at http://mda.org/ has two clinics and other resources like support groups in the area.

The challenge has spread beyond Facebook. The Milwaukee Brewers, Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Fallon, and Matt Lauer are just a few who have been through the icy experience.

And many in the Madison area have found an even more specific way to support ALS and the ice bucket challenge. His name is Andy Steele. He's a Dane County Sheriff's Deputy that gave up his job of saving lives and protecting the public when he was diagnosed with ALS in June.

"I started getting twitching in my muscles, and I felt a little slurring in some of my words and speech, so I went and saw a doctor," said Steele.

We caught up with Steele at the golf course.

"I try to get out and do what I can, when I can, while I still can," said Steele.

He's putting his muscles to use as much as he can these days, and has done so by pouring buckets of ice on friends and family in support of the cause. Including NBC 15 reporter Lindsey Branwall's ice bucket challenge, shown above.

"I never would have expected the type of reaching out people have done. People that have donated, people that I don't even know very well, I haven't seen or talked to in years. That, like I mentioned before, it's hard to describe that," said Steele.

If you'd like to support ALS by donating to Andy Steele, you can do so here, www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/c965/tough-as-steele-taking-down-als, and you can follow his story at www.facebook.com/toughassteele.

If you've done the #icebucketchallenge, we'd love to see our videos. Post on our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NBC15Madison or Tweet us @nbc15_madison


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