ALS Ice Bucket Challenge splashes into Coastal Empire - Tucson News Now

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge splashes into Coastal Empire

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

It's something that will take your breath away, dumping a bucket of ice water on your head.

It started as a silly challenge, but now it has become a popular way to raise awareness and money for all sorts of causes.

The latest challenge is soaking the nation to raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The viral video trend was started by a former Boston College baseball player who has the disease, but it's not making quite a splash here in the Coastal Empire.

The challenge prompts participants to either take the challenge and post the video, or donate to the cause. Whoever participants challenge then have 24 hours to decide what they are going to do.

Now, one local business is calling on the entire city of Savannah to take the challenge to raise awareness for this deadly disease.

For people who know the effects of the deadly disease, like Lynda Beam, it's more than just a viral sensation.

"It's been really exciting and to see the whole nation become aware of ALS," said Beam. "And just begin to learn what it's about and trying to learn what can be done about it."

Beam's husband, Kirby Beam, was the former president of Guerry Lumber. He was diagnosed with ALS.

"Kirby slowly lost the ability to walk without assistance," she said. "And he mainly lost the ability to breathe without assistance."

According to Dr. Joel Greenberg with Savannah Neurology Specialists, ALS is a neurological disease that eventually causes a loss of all motor function and it can progress quickly.

Kirby Beam succumbed to the disease about 10 years ago, and ever since, Lynda Beam has been looking for a way to raise awareness.

"Saturday morning my cousin called me, ‘Have you seen tv? Everyone is dumping ice water on themselves for ALS,'" Beam said.

According to the ALS Association, the trend has generated a never before experience level of visibility across the nation and an apparent spike in donations.

Real results that Guerry Lumber and the Beam family wants to keep flowing within the city, and maybe beyond.  

"We want to challenge everyone at Guerry Lumber and get a bucket of ice water," said Beam. "We want to challenge the community. And we really want to encourage the Savannah Sand Gnats in there."

The Beam family is planning to hold a massive Ice Bucket Challenge for the community.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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