WJTV News Channel 12 - Ice Bucket Challenge and 9OYS help Lenoir Co. woman raise funds

Ice Bucket Challenge and 9OYS help Lenoir Co. woman raise funds for ALS

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LAGRANGE, NC - We told you earlier this week about a Lenoir County woman who is embracing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after losing both her mother and grandmother to the disease.

Jennifer Croom is happy to report that since our story aired Tuesday, Team Brenda, a team honoring her mother, has raised close to $700. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $30 million nationwide for ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Croom says the school where she teaches, North Lenoir High School, is having a school-wide Ice Bucket Challenge September 5th with support from both teachers and students. All the funds from that event will go to Team Brenda in honor of her mom who was also a
teacher there.

Click here to donate to Team Brenda.

--- Original Story ---

The viral campaign has been taking over Facebook feeds for the last week. Now, with over $13 million raised for ALS, a Lenoir County woman says the Ice Bucket Challenge is giving her hope for the future.

Jennifer Croom's mother and grandmother both suffered from ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, before passing way due to the illness. The neurodegenerative disease is not always genetic, but in Croom's case, she is concerned that it may be. She says that losing her loved ones has been hard enough and now she's worried she may have ALS as well.

"These ice bucket challenges are meaning so much to me because I do not want to have to live with the fear of getting this disease," Croom said. "Every time I swallow wrong, every time I stutter, every time I trip up the steps, the thought crosses my mind of ALS and I don't want to live in a world that ALS exists."

Croom says the videos that have taken over the internet are giving her hope that a cure is possible. She has taken the challenge, along with many of her friends, family and students, and she hopes that the movement continues to generate interest and support.

"I think a lot of people are getting confused," Croom said. "They think if you do the ice bucket challenge, you're not donating but even if you do the challenge and you don't donate you're raising awareness and so many people are doing the ice bucket challenge and donating and I think anything that you're doing to raise awareness about a disease is a good thing."

So far, the local chapter of the ALS Foundation has 252% more donations this year compared to 2013. The donations help those suffering locally with grants and treatment centers. Croom says her mother received a grant before she passed away that allowed her to get an iPad which helped her communicate when she lost the ability to speak.

Croom says efforts to continue to raise funds and awareness about ALS will not stop after the trend of the Ice Bucket Challenge passes. She plans to continue to fight the illness, even if it's not "cool".

The Nine On Your Side Team has taken the challenge. Click here to see our videos. Click here to donate to Croom's mother's team.
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