What impact is the Ice Bucket Challenge having?

What impact is the Ice Bucket Challenge having?
A 'before and after' of Chuck Lofton and Anne Marie Tiernon's Ice Bucket Challenge (Evan Hoffmeyer/WTHR photos)
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Chuck Lofton and Anne Marie Tiernon accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge Wednesday live on Eyewitness News at Noon.

The Challenge has been criticized by some as being a gimmick that isn't actually making an impact, but a representative of Indiana's chapter of the ALS Association said that's not true.

"They reported over $30 million [Wednesday] morning; over 600,000 new donors, so it's working," said Cindy Wise.

Only about $1.2 million was donated in the same time period last year.

"We need to bring hope and I think for all those people who have done the Ice Bucket Challenge, thank you - you're bringing hope, you're bringing awareness. That's what this is doing," Wise added.

ALS is a degenerative disease that hits people in the prime of life. There is no cure and, at this point, there is no known cause for why some people develop this condition.

"They've identified genes, but not the pathways so this gives us another opportunity to invest in some promising research."

That research is expensive, which is why the donations are such an important part of this "dump and donate" campaign. With that in mind, Chuck and Anne Marie accepted both parts of the challenge, handing a check to Wise before getting dunked.

Major kudos to Anne Marie - while many people take lukewarm water and just add in a few ice cubes right before they record their video, Anne Marie added a significant amount of ice to hers long before the video started, giving it plenty of time to marinate so her water was truly frigid when it was dumped on her.

Chuck's was also very cold, but did not actually have ice cubes in it - he has a heart condition so we didn't want to give too big of a shock to his system.

At IU Health, ALS researcher Dr. Robert Pascuzzi says progress is accelerating, noting more advancements in ALS research in the last five years than the 100 years before.

"It's a whole new world in terms of research and ALS, so it's the perfect timing," he said.

Janell Mohr from Shelby County was diagnosed with the progressive degenerative disease last November.

"They told me early on that the years you will live with this disease is 2-5 years," Mohr said.

She is 56, the mother of five daughters, two stepchildren and 14 grandchildren.

"I worry about the burden I will become to my family and that is my biggest bridge to cross, I think," Mohr said.

Right now, she has deficits in her legs, making walking increasingly difficult.

"I think the thing that I fear the most is when the disease comes up into my chest and begins to affect my breathing and my swallowing. I fear that I am going to be very desperate. That is a fear," Mohr said.

"We don't know what the future holds, but whatever, it will be a privilege to take care of her," said Mohr's husband, Doug.

"I want my children to remember until the last days of my life that I was there for them. I want my grandchildren to remember me, I want to be the best wife I could possibly be to my husband. If I live two years or 10 years, I want to be what I can be," Mohr said.

She says thanks for the buckets, the bucks and the awareness of people just like her who hope for a cure.

"It may be a gimmick and I don't care if it's a gimmick, it's working and it's bringing the money in," Mohr said.

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if you don't see the video of Chuck & Anne Marie's Challenge above this story.

Chuck and Anne Marie also challenged Angela Buchman, who took a clever meteorological angle to her response.