ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Do You Know What You Are Supporting?

On August 24, 2014 by Physical Culturist

by: Health Impact

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Do You Know What You Are Supporting?

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for the ALS Association is sweeping the nation, and going viral in social media. However, do you know what you are supporting if you contribute funds to the ALS Association?

The ALS Association describes their “mission”:

Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

As the preeminent ALS organization, The Association leads the way in research, care services, public education, and public policy — giving help and hope to those facing the disease. The Association’s nationwide network of chapters provides comprehensive patient services and support to the ALS community. (Source)

ALS is the acronym for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Media portrayals of the Ice Bucket Challenge generally state that ALS “is always fatal and has no known cure,” and therefore urge people to contribute to the ALS Association to fund research to find a cure.

Where Does the Money Contributed to the ALS Association Go?

So where does the money donated to the ALS Association actually go? You may be surprised to find out that the Association itself claims that only 27% of its funds go towards research.

We pulled up their 2013 tax returns to take a closer look at how their funds are spent. Here are the salaries for the leadership of the group:

  • Jane H. Gilbert – President and CEO – $339,475.00
  • Daniel M. Reznikov – Chief Financial Officer – $201,260.00
  • Steve Gibson – Chief Public Policy Officer – $182,862.00
  • Kimberly Maginnis – Chief of Care Services Officer – $160,646.00
  • Lance Slaughter – Chief Chapter Relations and Development Officer – $152,692.00
  • Michelle Keegan – Chief Development Officer – $178,744.00
  • John Applegate – Association Finance Officer – $118.726.00
  • David Moses – Director of Planned Giving – $112,509.00
  • Carrie Munk – Chief Communications and Marketing Officer – $142,875.00
  • Patrick Wildman – Director of Public Policy – $112,358.00
  • Kathi Kromer – Director of State Advocacy – $110,661.00

Total administration costs, as seen in the pie chart above, were just under $2 million. “Other salaries and wages” (Part IX line 7) were $3.6 million, with another half million dollars in “pension plans” and “employee benefits.” Expenses for non-employee labor were about $4 million, and “travel expenses” exceeded $1.3 million.

So total costs for labor to run the association was around $12.5 million, from revenues received totaling $24 million.

Over 50% of what the ALS Association receives appears to support salaries of people working for the Association, based on these tax returns.

So what about the rest of the revenue?

Almost $1 million was spent on “Lobbying” (Schedule C Part II 2a). Here is what they wrote concerning their Lobbying efforts:

Explanation: The purpose of our advocacy program is to sensitize legislators to, and obtain their sympathy for, the plight of ALS victims, patients and their families, and to influence legislation regarding the appropriation of federal funds for ALS research and the use and cost to patients of “orphan” drugs.

The largest amount of what is remaining is: “Grants and other assistance to governments and organizations in the United States” (Part IX line 1) – $6.2 million. This amount is itemized on Schedule 1. Almost all of these recipients are medical schools, with strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

The ALS Association was started in 1985, and they still have not invested in any new cures for ALS. One of the latest failures was Biogen’s drug dexpramipexole, which halted research in early 2013. The drug was in research for more than 10 years at an estimated cost of between $75 million and $100 million, but was abandoned in last stage development due to poor results. (Source)

Non-Drug Alternatives for ALS Treatment

Are there Non-Drug Alternatives for ALS Treatment? – Yes! However, you are not likely to read anything about this from a non-profit charitable organization supporting the pharmaceutical industry.

Coconut Oil

    We have previously reported the story of Clarence and his experience in using coconut oil: Coconut Oil Reverses Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

    Coconut oil can be used in a strict ketogenic diet that has been shown to be successful in treating Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and cancer. among others. The principles of the ketogenic diet are completely different from the philosophy that the pharmaceutical companies start from in their research, where the assumption is that ALS is a “genetic disease.” Most of the current research on fighting disease with a ketogenic diet starts out with the assumption that modern diseases are primarily metabolic, and not genetic, caused by such things as poor diet, toxins in our food and environment, etc.


    Creatine has proved so beneficial to patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, that the FDA has granted orphan drug status to creatine. The Avicena Group, Inc is sponsoring clinical trials on creatine and requested that the FDA approve creatine as an orphan drug.

    Creatine, a natural substance, is critical for cellular energy production and modulation. It helps prolong the lives of cells and protects the cells from injury and death. This protective effect may be why creatine has been so beneficial in treating ALS, a progressive and fatal disease that disables motor neurons, the nerve cells that send signals from the brain to the skeletal muscles.

    Researchers began conducting ongoing Phase II/III studies in 1999 at multiple centers coordinated by the Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS/MDA Center in Charlotte North Carolina and the North East ALS Consortium. The researchers are studying more than 300 patients at 29 sites. Preliminary data from these studies indicate creatine can indeed benefit ALS patients.

    According to Dr. Jeffrey Rosenfeld, lead researcher of the Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS study, ALS patients treated with carnitine experienced increased muscle strength and decreased deterioration.

    In addition to the above studies, Avicena has conducted numerous pre-clinical animal studies that show creatine, in mouse models, can prevent neurologic damage in ALS, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease (Source).

Another non-drug approach currently seeing success with those suffering from ALS is the Deanna Protocol. This nutritional protocol has seen great success among many users, but I could find no information on any research being done on it by the ALS Association, sadly.

Charities and fun activities like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge can often give us a feeling of contributing to something very helpful and worthwhile, but it is always wise to research any charity first. Examining their tax returns is one good way to find out where their money is actually being spent.

Ice Buckets: NOT the Cure for ALS

Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder,

Ice Buckets: NOT the Cure for ALS

Let’s stop pretending like pouring ice on ourselves means anything until we can acknowledge the research that some of the causes and cures for ALS already exist — none of them involving pharmaceutical intervention.

The ALS Association’s ‘Ice Bucket Challenge,’ as of the writing of this article, has grossed over 41 million dollars in donations, which “has driven hundreds of thousands to join the fight against ALS,” according to a recent Huffington Post blog written by Jose Costa.

The perpetual meme of ‘fighting’ idiopathic diseases — meaning, diseases ‘with no known cause’ — has become the most successful cause-marketing strategy of our time, with billions of dollars raised without appreciable yield for the ultimate outcome: saving lives. Just look at Susan G. Komen, which raises billions for races and research into pharmaceutical and/or radiation-based treatments, but has yet to do anything to stem the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of healthy women (1.3 million women falsely diagnosed of breast cancer in the past 30 years), much less improve the survival times of those who actually do have a life threatening form of breast cancer.

For organizations that explicitly confess their ignorance about causes or cures of diseases they presumably intend to overcome, co-opting the good intentions of the mainstream with viral social media campaigns has become the flavor of the day.

In these monthly ‘Wars’ against disease, neither the combatants or victims stand to make much ground because no one is looking at root causes, the essential precondition to removing them and finding a real cure.

At we have spent years finding studies on about 3,000 ailments — obtained through the government’s own biomedical research database MEDLINE — that can clearly be identified to have unnatural/manmade causes and natural solutions.

Take a look at our ALS page now, and you will a wide range of published and peer-reviewed studies indicating that we shouldn’t be spending so much time raising capital, but rather awareness as to the already obvious ways we could reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. Some highlights include:

  • Lead: 4 studies on the lead-ALS link indicate that lead exposure can contribute to the etiology of ALS. If that’s the case — or if we even consider it a potential cause — reduce and/or eliminate exposure and then detoxify the body from it. This is so obvious that apparently the ALS Association, and the conventional medical establishment, chooses to ignore it.
  • Pesticides: Should we be surprised that highly brain-and body-toxic chemicals could contribute to a neurodegenerative condition? If you read the ALS Association’s “About ALS page,” you would be left with the impression that we have no idea what causes this terrible disease. Here are 3 studies showing a link between ALS and pesticide exposure.
  • Statin Drugs: Yes, we should not be surprised. With 300+ adverse health effects linked to statin drugs in the biomedical literature, and neurotoxicity #1 on the list, ALS has also been found to be a possible side effect of this highly toxic class of cholesterol lowering drugs. Remember, the dry weight of the brain is largely compromised of lipids (including cholesterol). Any drug that suppresses the ability to produce this brain-essential compound, could contribute to a wide range of neurological conditions. And here is proof that statin drugs are one of them: statin-ALS link.
  • Cigarette Smoking: No mystery here. Tobacco kills, and it isn’t just the nicotine and the thousands of chemicals naturally occurring or added afterwards to ‘enhance’ the effect. It’s the radioactive polonium 210 within them — the subject of a decades old cover up — that is the primary cause of tobacco associated morbidity and mortality. No wonder this highly toxic plant’s smoke has been linked to ALS. How does the ALS Association overlook this obvious risk factor openly on it’s site?
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG): MSG is an ominpresent contaminant — classified as an FDA approved additive – in tens of thousands of foods in the world’s food supply today. Here is a 2010 study linking MSG to the pathogenesis of ALS.

These are a sampling of some of the full vetted, biomedically-confirmed contributing causes, but thankfully, the ‘curative’ natural agents are far more numerous. Of the 39 substances found to have potential therapeutic value in ALS — none of which Big Pharma, or their cause-marketing collaborators, acknowledge – these are the most compelling we have found:

ALS Solutions:

Don’t forget the basics: something as simple as moving the body — exercisehas been found in at least 3 studies to improve ALS.

Keep in mind, these are only the studies we have indexed, with limited resources and time. Go to the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic citation database and search yourself. You will have 23 million abstracts under your fingertips. Search for “ALS” and you will find over 13,000 published studies on the topic. Many of these studies concern the issues we discuss here: unnatural/man made causes and natural solutions. If you find anything we don’t already have on our database please send it to and improve the free resource we have created.

Let’s hope the ALS Association puts their newly contributed money where their mouth is, and dedicate it to finding solutions that relieve the suffering of those with the condition. Those who donate money, show that they care enough to give up a fragment of their financial freedom to help others. But if the causes are at least partially known (including pharmaceuticals that do more harm than good) — chemicals that damage the brain — and the solutions are as well — addressing nutritional deficiencies and chemical/toxicant exposures and correcting them — let’s at least stop pretending raising more money, or making a game of pouring ice on oneself is anything but a charade to distract from the real solution.

Let’s stop pretending like pouring ice on ourselves means anything until we can acknowledge the research that some of the causes and cures for ALS already exist — none of them involving pharmaceutical intervention.

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