The Ice Bucket Challenge in Canada raised $16.2 million for research into ALS, officials said today.
ALS Canada CEO Tammy Moore and Eve Adams, parliamentary secretary to the minister of health, held a news conference Wednesday morning in Ottawa to reveal the total raised through last summer's popular fundraising efforts.
More than 260,000 Canadians contributed to the challenge.
ALS societies will invest $10 million in ALS research and $6 million in programs that deliver support to Canadians living with ALS.
Adams said the Canadian government will match the research funds dollar for dollar, taking the total investment to $20 million. Adams said it’s the largest one-time injection to ALS research.
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Health Minister Rona Ambrose was one of the many politicians across Canada who endured a bucket of icy cold water over their heads as part of an online campaign to raise awareness and research funds.
Other politicians — including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was nominated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, among others — declined the cold shower but cut a cheque to the charity instead.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the late New York Yankees ballplayer. It's a progressive disease that affects the brain's nerve cells and the spinal cord.