9 4 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

The Ice Bucket Challenge has become a huge viral video sensation, but the goal behind it is to raise money to help people with a devastating disease.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, has been around for years but doctors and patients hope this infusion of money could bring them closer to a cure.

Every time the water drops it's like music to the ears of Carl Moore. It means awareness and money for the disease he's been fighting for 20 years.

"This is something the ALS community has wanted for decades to have this kind of awareness," Moore explained. "We're out here - can you help us?"

Moore has watched Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS claim dozens of friends over the years as he's fought his own battle to stay alive.

"I am truly blessed, but I am the exception" Moore said.

Moore has a less common version of the disease that's characterized by a slow progression. Doctors at the Virginia Mason ALS Clinic say the average patient with this diagnosis will live about four years.

"It's a degenerative disease that affects the part of the nervous system that controls our muscles our muscle control and our strength" Dr. Michael Elliot said.

Dr. Elliot says the disease attacks and kills neurons leaving patients with breathing problems and paralysis.

Research has helped doctors improve breathing for those with the disease and there's one drug that they can use to help patients, but more needs to be done.

"There is definitely hope but we need money because of the complexity of the disease and the type of research that needs to be done," said Dr. Elliott.

Both doctors and those trying to live with the disease hope these viral videos will continue to open eyes and wallets. That means money for specialized equipment like customized wheelchairs.

"You're giving people a bigger measure of their freedom and independence that the disease wants to take from people," Moore said.

Moore hasn't had to face the wall of ice water yet, but he says he's grateful to everyone who has and hopes this social media sensation turns the tide against this devastating disease.

9 4 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.king5.com/story/news/health/2014/08/20/als-researchers-patients-hopeful-for-cure/14323179/