Eli Capilouto

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Published: Aug 22, 2014

 

Over the last few weeks, the social media world has been rapt with the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to support research and treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – ALS – also commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” While it is easy to enjoy watching celebrities, former Presidents and your friends and family succumb to an ice cold deluge of water, it is important to consider what the viral buzz has yielded for the ALS Association and what researchers, health providers and care givers are doing to combat this insidious illness.

 

This week, the ALS Association reported record increases in their fundraising from existing donors and more than 637,000 new donors – many who were likely encouraged by the Ice Bucket Challenge. The additional contributors have yielded more than $31 million to the ALS Association – several times more than the $1.9 million received this time last year.

 

On Monday, I was challenged by my colleague at Eastern Kentucky University – President Michael Benson – to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge. In accepting his challenge and others, I challenged and was joined by faculty and staff that represent the University of Kentucky’s ALS Research Center for our big blue ice bath.

 

 

The Kentucky Neuroscience Institute is home to the only ALSA Certified Center in Kentucky and the only one between Atlanta and Indianapolis. The certification signals that our team employs the best practices to provide access to the state-of-the-art care for patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

 

Led by Dr. Edward Kasarskis, UK’s team of researchers is at the leading-edge of ALS research. In partnership with our affiliate at the VA Medical Center, we have maintained a commitment to improving outcomes for ALS patients since the 1980s. Many collaborators, expert faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows have studied ALS mortality in Kentucky; participated in formulating the World Federation of Neurology criteria for diagnosing ALS; and contributed to the identification of genetic causes of the disease. For the last ten years, they have led a multicenter study of nutrition requirements for ALS patients.

 

In 2003, Dr. Kasarskis’ team played a pivotal role in identifying military service as a risk factor for developing ALS in veterans of the first war in the Persian Gulf. Their work became one of the foundational studies making ALS a “service connected” disability in the VA system.

 

Our mission and vision calls upon us to answer the relevant questions of our day and pose the unasked questions that help shape our future. ALS afflicts some 5,600 additional people across the United States every year. The chronic, unbiased disease impacts some 30,000 at any given time, according to the ALS Association.

 

Across UK’s research enterprise, we are addressing questions related to ALS and other chronic illnesses that plague the people we serve. The research trials we conduct each day are part of our effort to find local solutions that can have national implications. Research makes the difference in the lives of millions, but significant research needs people in order to evolve and improve health care.

 

UK’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences’ ResearchMatch database is part of a national resource developed to pair research volunteers with world-class researchers. Participation is a way to learn more about your own health and be a part of pioneering new solutions to the seemingly intractable problems we face. Matching volunteers to researchers is key to breaking new barriers in discovery and UK’s ResearchMatch is a pathway to get involved.

 

This is why a multi-disciplinary, broadly supported and sophisticated research enterprise is not only essential for the University, but a fundamental component of a healthier and more prosperous future for Kentucky. This is the future that we pursue each day across our campus and in the communities we work with across the state.

 

As people participate in the ALS awareness and fundraising campaign, we must remember to do so safely and responsibly. Sadly, two firefighters were injured this week in Campbellsville during an organized challenge. The thoughts and prayers of the Big Blue Nation are with Fire Department Captain Tony Grider and Firefighter Simon Quinn as they recover from their injuries.

 

Columnist, Jim Murray, described legendary baseball player Lou Gherig as “a symbol of indestructibility – a Gibraltar in cleats.” The nationwide campaign that has evolved over the last few weeks is symbolic of that strength. Let us continue honoring that legacy by standing strong in support of further research and improved treatment of ALS. 

 

October
 
 
 
1
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
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Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
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3
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
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Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Fri
4
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Sat
5
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Sun
6
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
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7
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
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UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Tue
8
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Wed
9
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
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10
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
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Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
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Fri
11
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Sat
12
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Sun
13
 
Mon
14
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Wed
16
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Fri
18
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Sat
19
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Sun
20
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Mon
21
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Tue
22
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Wed
23
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Fri
25
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
26
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
Sun
27
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Mon
28
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Tue
29
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Wed
30
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
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Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
Thu
31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
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All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
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Oct 30
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