Ice Bucket Challenge Soaks the Mohawk Valley

By Ana Rivera |

Published 08/15 2014 06:18PM

Updated 08/15 2014 06:20PM

It's the sensation that's been sweeping the nation.  Over the last few weeks it's impossible to not see the videos all over social media of people participating in the so-called ice bucket challenge and people in the Mohawk Valley can't escape the challenges.

It's a viral sensation that's soaking the entire nation.  Everyone from celebrities, athletes and even your best friends are doing it.

Known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, people are nominated to either dump a bucket of ice cold water over their head or to donate to the ALS Association.  But what is this disease that everyone seems to be talking about?

“You become paralyzed but you can still feel.  So you can be uncomfortable, or you can have an itch that you can't scratch and you can have a fly buzzing around your face and you can't swat it out of the way.  It's been described as torture,” says Sherry DePerno, ALS Utica.

Creating awareness has even taken hold of members of the Eyewitness News team.

“The thing is it brought awareness to the disease that a lot of people wouldn't have seen before.  It's not something that we think about everyday ALS, it's not something we always see but by doing this ice bucket challenge, just getting the name of the disease gets people thinking, gets people wanting to donate,” says Samantha Wessing, Eyewitness News meteorologist.

But some are worried that their donations are going to get lost in piles of national ALS donations.  But others are making sure that they stay right here in Utica, giving their donations to ALS Utica.

"Yesterday morning we were at around $3,000 and they've just continued to come in after that.  I have a ton of receipts in my inbox to process I haven't even had a chance to look at yet," says DePerno.

But whether you're accepting the challenge, or simply sending a donation...the freezing challenge is warming people up to learn more about the deadly disease.

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