On August 30, the community of Richmond will be participating in what is said to be “the biggest Ice Bucket Challenge” that the city has seen in Garry Point Park.
Sheila Tynan, who was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 2011, is gathering residents across the city for a big Ice Bucket Challenge. A big dump truck will be filled with ice and will be released onto participants – so if you’re not doing anything this weekend come out and support a great cause.
Recently, social media platforms have garnered a lot of attention due to viral videos of people participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but do people know what ALS is?
ALS is very rapidly progressive and is known as a neuromuscular disease where over the course of time motor nerve cells die making it hard to walk paralysing parts of your body.
Tynan, who is now 62, used to pass her time by taking photographs and cooking until she was diagnosed in late 2011. The disease severely affected the functioning of her hands to the point where she cannot participate in the activities she was once able to.
“My hands are pretty non-functional now, I can’t pick anything up or have strength to do many things,” she told Vancity Buzz.
Tynan said that when she told people what she was diagnosed with they would often respond with, “Oh ALS, what is that?”
“I think with the recent awareness of the Ice Bucket Challenge is making people aware and they are starting to look it up online and be curious,” said Tynan.
Whether people are participating in the Ice Bucket challenge because they have been nominated or not, it is important to remember the fundamental purpose of the challenge: to raise money for researching ALS as there is no known cure or effective treatment.
Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 Canadians presently live with this disease where 80 per cent die 2-5 years after diagnosis.
Tynan has set up a crowd funding campaign to raise awareness about ALS and educate people of the severity of the disease.
“I think a day will come where researchers will find a cure but I don’t know if it will be in my lifetime or not,” she added.
Richmond’s biggest Ice Bucket Challenge
Where: Garry Point Park
Date: Saturday, August 30
Feature image: Sheila Tynan