Ice Bucket Challenge funds ALS research breakthrough

Stephen Curry, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Kenneth Faried and DeMarcus Cousins got soaked in 2014.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Remember in 2014 when the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took over social media feeds in the sports world and beyond? Everyone from the Chicago Cubs to Steph Curry and Ronda Rousey drenched themselves in an ice-cold bath in order to raise funds and awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Well, it’s actually done some good.

One million dollars raised through the challenge was donated to Project MinE, which was established by ALS patient and entrepreneur Bernard Muller. And the U.S. division of this project was able to use the funds to identify a gene, NEK1, that is linked to ALS, and could help provide clues to understand and possibly treat the progressive neurodegenerative disorder.

Lou Gehrig says goodbye at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)

“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled us to secure funding from new sources in new parts of the world," Muller said in a statement. "Thankfully, The ALS Association brought Project MinE to the United States. This transatlantic collaboration supports our global gene hunt to identify the genetic drivers of ALS. I’m incredibly pleased with the discovery of the NEK1 gene adding another step towards our ultimate goal, eradicating this disease from the face of the earth.”

Approximately 5,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS each year.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Aug. 22, 2014. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

It’s nice to see all those buckets making a difference.