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ALS research advancing thanks to Ice Bucket Challenge, experts say

ALS research is advancing, and experts say it's all thanks to Ice Bucket Challenge creator Peter Frates, who passed away on Monday.

Posted: Dec 10, 2019 6:48 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2019 6:38 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- ALS research is advancing, and experts say it's all thanks to Ice Bucket Challenge creator Peter Frates, who passed away on Monday.

It has been five years since the challenge broke the internet, and over $115 million has been donated towards ALS research.

"With those monies, over five new genes connected to ALS have been found, two new potential therapies have been moving into clinical trials, and a greater understanding of the environmental aspects connected to ALS is underway," said Lance Christian, Executive Director of the ALS Association. 

Christian said it's an exciting time for ALS patients because potential treatments are around the corner, mainly from the millions of dollars that were put towards the research all thanks to Peter Frates.

Michele Gladieux, a physical therapist who works with ALS patients at PeaceHealth, said she feels extemely fulfilled in her role and wants to make them as comfortable as possible throughout one of the most difficult times of their life.

"The ALS patients that we've worked with have been such wonderful human beings, delightful human beings going through a very, very difficult disease process," said Gladieux. 

Christian called Pete Frates a fighter because instead of sitting down and withering away, he fought the disease and ultimately changed the world. 

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