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More Minnesotans step up to take 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

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ALS treatment staff members from the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) are among the latest Minnesotans to take the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise money for research, KARE 11 reports.

Eleven HCMC staffers took the challenge Saturday. HCMC ALS Coordinator Shelley Anderson tells KARE the challenge is worth it because it "makes a statement."

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

HCMC physician Dr. Ezgi Tiryaki tells KARE 11 about 30,000 people in the U.S. have this disease and around 500 people in Minnesota have the disease at any given time. There is no cure for ALS.

The "Ice Bucket Challenge" begins when someone who has doused themselves with ice-cold water challenges three others to do the same, or donate money to ALS research or other charities of their choice.

Locally, participants have included such athletes as Vikings star Everson Griffen and Wild star Zach Parise and members of the Minnesota Twins.

Jason Zucker of the Wild got help from a Zamboni to do the "Ice Bucket Challenge":

Last week, Pioneer Press writer Tom Powers took the challenge, and in turn nominated three Minnesota Wild executives including General Manager Chuck Fletcher.

According to the ALS Association, donations have skyrocketed in the past few weeks because of the Ice Bucket Challenge. The association says it received $11.4 million in donations from July 29-Aug. 16, compared with $1.7 million in donations during the same period a year ago.

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