Putting a Face on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - WSET.com - ABC13

Putting a Face on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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The well known ice bucket challenge continues to trend all over social media. Thousands of people across the world are accepting the challenge and so far it's raised more than $70 million for the ALS Association. Now we are putting a face to the disease.

Herald Givens, a former photographer and business owner, is living with ALS. A deadly disease that paralyzes the muscles in the body.

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with his brain, except that it stops communicating with the muscles," said Debbie Givens.

Givens wife of 41 years since herald was diagnosed 15 months ago, he's lost his ability to walk and speak.

"Right now he can use his I-pad because he has use of his hands or his cell phone with an app that will speak for him," Debbie said.

He also lost his ability to eat. The only way to feed him is using a feeding tube. And he sleeps with a ventilator to help him breath easier.

But despite his limitations, Givens stays active. He's on the board of Leadership in Tulsa and the Little Light House. Debbie said while Herald is at home, he spends time creating poems.

"He says a picture comes to him of a place we've been and then a poem comes to him. He superimposes the words of the poem of the picture. He's working on setting up a website," Debbie said.

And since he is so tech-savvy at 62 years old, most of his day is spent on his computer. Recently watching all the ice bucket challenges people are posting on social media.

The couple is thrilled that donations to the ALS Association have skyrocketed this year and that the ice bucket challenge is raising awareness.

"I was glad to see Garth Brooks involved since I had worked on his home," Givens wrote.

While he loves watching all the videos, Herald hopes money raised will support research to find a cure for the deadly disease he is battling.

 

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