Gators athletes, coaches chill out

  • Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rob Gantt/Gazette Dozens of Goose Creek High School athletes and coaches took the ice bucket challenge.

Dozens of Goose Creek athletes took the ice bucket challenge on Wednesday and challenged the school’s administration and all other athletic programs in the county to also participate.

The ice bucket challenge is a national phenomenon that has swept the country and heightened awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It’s also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“We’ve all pretty much been challenged by one, two or three people,” GCHS volleyball coach Jay Watterworth said. “Instead of doing six or seven we decided to do it all together. It’s a team bonding thing and hopefully it will bring about more awareness of ALS.”

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases their minds remain sharp and alert.

The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis.

According to the ALS Association, as many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS.

“I know it doesn’t matter who you are, hold old you are, how good a health you’re in, it can come at any moment,” Watterworth said. “There can be no notice and it can take away your ability to move and to talk. Mentally you understand what’s going on but you can’t express those feelings. The reason why we use the ice water is for 1 or 2 seconds it puts you in a state of what somebody with ALS goes through every day.”

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