|Donnie Smith accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge.|
SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson Foods Inc., is the latest participant in the Ice Bucket Challenge that has taken the United States by storm and raised millions of dollars for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research, also known as “Lou Gehrig's Disease”.
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, according to the ALS website. The progressive degeneration of motor neurons eventually leads to death. An estimated 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time, according to the association. Most people diagnosed with ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, but ALS does occur in individuals in their 20s and 30s.
Pete Frates, a former Division I baseball player at Boston College, was one such individual. Frates, 29, has lived with ALS since 2012, and it was his advocacy with the ALS Association’s Massachusetts Chapter that helped the Ice Bucket Challenge go viral on social media. The challenge has been taken up by every-day Americans, professional athletes, celebrities and corporate leaders like Smith.
Before getting dunked, Smith called on several of his friends to accept the challenge: US Rep. Steve Womack, third district of Arkansas; David Nutt, president of the JW Nutt Company; Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco Animal Health (a division of Eli Lilly and Company); and Dwight Armstrong, CEO, National FFA Foundation.
Watch Smith take the challenge here: http://bit.ly/DonnieSmithALS. The challenge has raised $41.8 million for ALS research. Follow the chain of challengers at #IceBucketChallenge.