As the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge sweeps the nation, Racer Nation is also doing its share to help. The challenge has been taking social media by storm over the summer, with various coaches, public figures and people from all walks of life taking the challenge to raise awareness of a crippling disease.
After being challenged by football Head Coach Chris Hatcher, basketball Head Coach Steve Prohm along with his team and Murray-Calloway County Parks Director Tab Brockman took the challenge Tuesday.
Hatcher and local youth baseball coach Tim Thurmond took the challenge Saturday morning, nominating Prohm, his team and Brockman to take on the challenge as well.
The football team and Thurmond’s team, the Murray Youth Broncos, hoisted the buckets to drench Hatcher, Thurmond and senior quarterback C.J. Bennett.
Amyotrphic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
There is currently not a cure for ALS, but there is one FDA approved drug that modestly slows its progression in addition to several drugs in clinical trials that hold promise. There are significant devices and therapies, however, that can manage the symptoms of ALS and help people maintain as much independence as possible while prolonging survival.
As of Wednesday, the ALS Association had received $31.5 million in donations and 637,527 new donors to The Association.
For every like up to 200 that the Racer basketball team receives of its Ice Bucket Challenge video on Facebook, it will donate $5 to fight the cause of ALS.
Prohm challenged all of the OVC head men’s basketball coaches in addition to Murray State President Bob Davies, who participated in the challenge Wednesday.
Perkins Motor Plex, a sponsor of Murray State Basketball, also took the challenge recently, and Prohm jokingly nominated Tim Perkins’ dog, Rosie, who ran away during their filming.
Brockman also challenged Racer fan John Rydecky and Racer fans across the country in addition to rotarians in western Kentucky and around the world.
Prohm also encouraged all of western Kentucky to come out to the ALS Walk at the CFSB Center Sept. 20 to support ALS research and the fight to find a cure.
Murray resident Brad Barnett was also present and recognized for his support of Racer athletics and his battle with ALS. Barnett was also honored during Hatcher and the football team’s challenge.
“We all know our friend, Brad Barnett, in Murray, Kentucky,” Brockman said. “He and his family are near and dear to our hearts, and he has been just an absolute inspiration to everyone.”
The Murray State softball team also participated in the challenge this week, nominating the baseball team, Senior Associate Athletic Director Matt Kelly and the Southeast Missouri State softball team.
Story by Mallory Tucker, Sports Editor