It may still be warm outside but some are cooling off in a fun new way. As of August 16, the ALS Association has raised more than $11.4 million dollars in donations. The popularity and viral online surge of the “Ice Bucket Challenge”  has not only raised awareness but will aid in funding valuable medical research.  The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same.  If you can’t do the challenge you are asked to donate.

What is ALS? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

About 6 years ago, while scouting a new office location in Italy I met a man in a wheel chair.  He told me his name was Antonio; he was 39 years old and was diagnosed with ALS.  He could talk fine, move his upper body very well but his lower body was mostly paralyzed.  I told him I have had success helping patient that had ALS in the U.S., gave him and his wife my business card and he said he would until I opened the office in Italy before starting care.

Six weeks later I got a phone call from his wife.  She told me she needed to bring Antonio to Charlotte, N.C. to see me.  I told her I had already sent everything to Italy and the office should be open in 6-8 weeks.  Just wait and we can see him when I get there.  She started crying and told me that his doctors gave Antonio 30 days to live.  They were in Charlotte the next day. 

This time when I saw Antonio he was completely paralyzed.  He couldn’t move his arms or head or even speak.  In six weeks his ALS had progressed so much I could barely recognize the person in front of me. 

I checked Antonio and found a misalignment at the top bone in his neck that was putting pressure on his brain stem.  I x-rayed his neck to find the bone was torqued in all three dimensions.  I gave him a correction, putting the bone back where it was supposed to, verified that the pressure on the brain stem was removed and sent him back to his hotel to rest through the night.  I checked Antonio daily until returning with me to Italy.  While getting the office opened I continued to check him.  Once the office was opened, the new doctor took over his care and I never forgot about Antonio but he kind of slipped to the back of my mind.  Then about three years later I happened to be back at that office doing a routine check-in on the doctors, staff, etc. when in rolled Antonio.  We caught each other’s eyes from across the room.  He, his wife and I all welled up with tears.  He rolled himself over to me in his wheel chair, threw both arms around my neck.  As we both cried he and his wife told me how much he appreciated me and how much better he was doing.  He could talk, he could move his upper body and arms, he could even laugh and cry and smile, all of which he could not do the last time I saw him.

Raising money to support ALS research is great.  But, the cause of ALS is not a lack of drugs in the system.  So, taking all of the medications in the world will never fix ALS.  The ALS Association spends almost all of its research money on medical research.  I believe it is time to start researching the cause and quit trying to “treat” the symptoms.  Myself and many of my Upper Cervical chiropractic brothers and sisters are ready to help.  Not by taking an ice-water shower but by finding and correcting the CAUSE of ALS.  The cause of ALS comes from within not from the outside in.  Find an Upper Cervical doctor near you.