ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" Has Special Meaning for Salisbury Fam - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" Has Special Meaning for Salisbury Family

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SALISBURY, Md.- It is a challenge that is literally soaking the nation; A campaign dedicated to promoting awareness about ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

ALS affects more than 30,000 people in the United States. On June 7th, Robert Ortiz of Salisbury lost his fight with ALS, but not before dedicating his life to spreading awareness of the disease. That is something his son wants to continue doing in his honor.

Justin Timberlake did it. So did Jimmy Fallon, Martha Stewart and Delaware Governor Jack Markell. Even WBOC's own Lacee Griffith joined in.

But you may be wondering: Why is everyone dumping buckets of ice water over their heads?

It is all for the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” The challenge is dedicated to the fight against ALS, and involves daring someone to dump ice water over their head within 24 hours, or else donate money to the cause.

The challenge has gone viral because once completed, the person is supposed to dare others.

“He was always happy,” explained Ortiz's son, DeAndre Molock. “He was the type of guy that would just walk around, make friends just out of nowhere.”

For Molock, the challenge has a very personal meaning. His father was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.

But as life got harder, Ortiz pushed himself, becoming an advocate for ALS awareness and touching many lives along the way.

“I don't dwell on it or anything,” said Ortiz, in a Sept. 2013 interview on DelmarvaLife. “I just have to get up and keep on moving.”

Ortiz was also the subject of a documentary by then Salisbury University student Jonas Gottlieb.

Molock said he is planning to take the Ice Bucket Challenge in memory of his dad, who he knows will be watching.

“I think he's laughing, and just so excited that finally it's getting out that ALS is a real thing,” he explained. “And I really didn't know about it until my dad had it, so he's probably smiling at me right now because I'm here, which is pretty cool.”

If you want to challenge someone, simply take the Ice Bucket challenge, then extend the challenge and donate $10 to the ALS charity of your choosing. Those who decline the challenge are encouraged to make a $100 donation.

For more information, or to donate, visit http://alsa.org.



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