Hundreds take icy challenge for Germantown veteran fighting ALS

Hundreds of people came out to Germantown in support Military Veteran and Bartlett Firefighter Jeff Beard on Thursday. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Hundreds of people came out to Germantown in support Military Veteran and Bartlett Firefighter Jeff Beard on Thursday. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Jeff's wife, Kristin, says the challenge will go a long way to helping with research. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Jeff's wife, Kristin, says the challenge will go a long way to helping with research. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - It seems the so-called Ice Bucket Challenge is taking the world by storm, and that includes the Mid-South.

But there's more to it than just dumping water on your head. The challenge raises money to fight ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

For many people, this is the first time hearing about the disease, and they are only now learning that there is just one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ALS. That drug only modestly extends survival by two to three months, making ALS fatal. A person loses control of voluntary muscle movement and eventually lose their ability to eat, speak, walk, and eventually breathe.

Hundreds of people came out to Germantown in support Military veteran and Bartlett firefighter Jeff Beard on Thursday.

The former Methodist Hospital EMT was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. Jeff's wife, Kristin, says the challenge will go a long way to helping with research.

"It is fantastic, the ice bucket challenge has spawned this wildfire of awareness," she said. "There's so much more to it than what you read on Google. The doctors don't know all there is. We find out new things every single day."

So far, the challenge has raised more than 41 million dollars worldwide for research. To see videos and photos of the #IceBucketChallenge in Memphis, click here.

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