Michael Dell Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge to Support ALS Research

Photo reprinted with permission from Michael Dell

Photo reprinted with permission from Michael Dell

Michael Dell took the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS research Saturday in front of the construction site for the new Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.

CNBC’s Jon Fortt challenged Dell.

In a posting to his Facebook page, Dell, in turn, challenged Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce.com and Actor Samuel Jackson. He also announced he made a donation to the ALS organization to find a cure for the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a “progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival. Veterans are approximately twice as likely be diagnosed with the disease.”

In accepting the challenge, Dell joined other tech titans who have also taken the icy soak like Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $11 million in donations for the ALS Association. “The ALS Association has received $11.4 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 16),” according to a news release. “These donations have come from existing donors and 220,255 new donors to The Association.”

“Never before have we been in a better position to fuel our fight against this disease,” Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of the ALS Association, wrote in a blog post on the nonprofit organization’s website. “Increased awareness and unprecedented financial support will enable us to think outside the box. We will be able to strategize about efforts in ways that previously would not have been possible, all while we work to fulfill and enhance our existing mission priorities nationwide.”

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