City of Cambridge Completes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Cambridge Mayor David P. Maher and City Manager Richard C. Rossi, along with members of the City Council, School Committee, and City Staff, participated in an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on August 20, 2104. The challenge was dedicated to current City employees who are battling this disease and to those employees who have lost their fight. Over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.
So many people in all walks of life are being faced with this terrible disease,” stated Cambridge Mayor David Maher, “just last week we lost a long time Cambridge School employee and friend, Jurina Vellucci, to ALS. Knowing how many people are suffering from ALS, we felt compelled to participate in a large scale way to help create awareness and to contribute to research for a cure.”
Ms. Vellucci was an employee at the King Open School (and the former Harrington School) who lost her four year battle with ALS.
"I would do this challenge as many times as necessary if the awareness raised by this campaign could help find a cure," said City Manager Richard Rossi.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
The ice and buckets were generously donated by Acme Ice on Kirkland St. in Cambridge.
To learn more about ALS visit: http://www.alsa.org/