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John Tuckwell, Alberta Man With ALS, Gives Ice Bucket Challenge New Meaning

While many of us are just learning what ALS is through the Ice Bucket Challenge, Alberta's John Tuckwell knows the disease firsthand.

Tuckwell was diagnosed with bulbar lumbus, a form of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 2012. The illness has since taken his ability to swallow and speak, Tuckwell explains in his Ice Bucket Challenge YouTube video through signs.

Videos of celebrities and politicians taking the challenge thrust the disease into the mainstream this summer in a fun, heartwarming and sometimes hilariously painful way. But Tuckwell's challenge helps bring the viral trend back to its roots, educating and raising awareness about a life-threatening disease.

"I hope that a cure can be found," writes Tuckwell in the video. "I have been fortunate so far, in that my illness is progressing slowly. Others are not so fortunate."

Along with taking the challenge, Tuckwell and his "ALS Walk Team" have also raised $33,000 for research in the past two years, according to the video.

Tuckwell, who works for the Alberta government, passed the challenge on to several members of the government, including Finance Minister Doug Horner and Health Minister Fred Horne.


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