Carlee Colvard, Assistant Editor
Katie Jones, a junior psychology major at North Greenville University, received the news during her freshman year that her father, Ken Jones, had been diagnosed with ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which causes motor neurons to degenerate in the brain and spinal chord.
In honor of Jones’ father, her fellow cheerleaders surprised her at the beginning of the semester by taking the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness for the disease.
Jones was asked by her coach to speak about ALS and take the challenge herself before cheerleading practice began, but was surprised when her team showed their love and support instead.
Her father experienced the symptoms of ALS shortly after they went on a mission trip to Africa together. Before the disease, he was very active, but after experiencing the effects of ALS, he was later paralyzed and passed away on April 26, 2014, three years after being diagnosed.
Every year Jones and her family participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS. Her father’s last day was spent at one of these walks. Jones said that it was a “God thing” that her father was able to see all of the support of his family members and family friends who were at the walk that day. He passed away only two hours later.
The ALS ice bucket challenge has raised more than $100 million dollars as researchers begin to search for a cure for the condition that causes the movement of the muscles to be lost and the muscles to deteriorate. Many ALS victims become paralyzed in the process.
In response to the ice bucket challenge, Jones says, “Even if people just did it to have fun, it still raised a lot of awareness for ALS.”
To see the Crusader cheerleading team take the 'Ice Bucket challenge,' click here.
Do you have an ice bucket challenge video you'd like to share with the NGU community? We will be posting them to our Facebook page. Send a link of your video to: TheVisionNGU@gmail.com. Be sure to include your name with your link.