Early yesterday morning [August 14, 2014], Congressman Joe Garcia accepted the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He dedicates the challenge to Deb Gaudet, a South Florida resident who wrote a personal letter to the Congressman describing her current battle with the disease. The degenerative disease which causes progressive deterioration of the nervous system, affects more than 30,000 Americans at any one given time. The disease typically strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and does not currently have a cure.
Challenged by fellow Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy and his former intern and Harvard Business School student, Nassar Mufdi Ruiz, Garcia took on the challenge to show his support for the ALS Association’s work to find a cure and improve the lives of the individuals and families impacted by ALS. Assisted by his daughter, Gabriela Garcia, who poured the bucket of ice water over his head, Garcia is now challenging Key West Mayor, Craig Cates; Florida State Senator, Dwight Bullard; and his own brother, Mo Garcia.
“I was honored to accept this challenge in the name of the thousands of people who suffer from this debilitating disease” said Garcia.
The “Ice Bucket Challenge” initiative was established seeking to raise ALS awareness and/or donations to the ALS Association. The project has significantly grown in popularity over recent weeks, garnering the attention of celebrities, politicians and people from all walks of life. This fun and entertaining charitable project has raised more than $4 million from over 70,000 donors since the project started — more than double raised in the same period last year. The ALS Association uses these funds to help support their ongoing research for treatments and cures of the disease.
Recently, Congressman Garcia co-sponsored H.R. 3116 – the MODDERN CURES ACT. The bill would incentivize companies to develop drugs and tests to treat and identify ALS. The bill would also create a council for studying diagnostics for diseases like ALS and initiate a study on the effects of IP law on the development of tests and therapies.
To learn more about the “Ice Bucket Challenge” or to participate, please visit http://www.alsa.org/news/archive/als-ice-bucket-challenge.html or search #IceBucketChallenge on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.