TRANSPORTATION MATTERS for IOWA

An open-ended ice-bucket challenge to all Iowa DOTers


For Ray Halterman, executive officer in traffic operations, the latest Internet sensation, the ice bucket challenge for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has hit very close to home. Ray’s nephew, Greg Leonard, was diagnosed with ALS in December 2012. The disease has progressed quickly to the point that Greg is in a wheel chair, has a device implanted in his chest and a tracheostomy to help with bodily functions. 

Greg Caley and the girls in May 2013Greg and his wife, Caley, and their young daughters, Aubrey and Bailey, live in Ogden. Over the past two years, several local fundraisers have been held for the family to help fulfill some of Greg’s wishes. The first was to take his girls to Disneyland, which they were able to accomplish last summer. 

 

Greg an Caley in DC

 

 

 

This spring, Greg and Caley were able to travel to Washington, D.C., for ALS advocacy days to tell their story to policy makers. 

While these local fundraisers have been able to ease the burden on the Leonard family, the fight against ALS rages on. As of Aug. 21, the ALS website reported that they have received more than $41.8 million since July 29 from existing donors, as well as 739,275 new donors – many as a direct result of the ice bucket challenge.

Most ice bucket challenges are done in a 24-hour time frame, but Ray is offering an open ended ice bucket challenge to any Iowa DOT employee. Originally, the challenge was to have a bucket of ice poured over your head instead of donating to the cause, but now most people choose to do either or both of these activities. 

If you take the challenge, please post it to Yammer or send your videos to [email protected].

8/25/2014 UPDATE - DOT employees - go to Yammer to see Director Paul Trombino's ice bucket challenge!

Challenges should be done on employee’s personal time and off DOT property. 

You can follow the Leonard family's journey on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GregLeonardBenefit

NOTE: According to the ALS website, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. There is no known cause of, or cure for, ALS. 

With my amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the first thing that happened almost 2 years ago now, was speaking as if I were drunk. I wasn't. I initially did improve speech (articulating clearly but slow) but now I can no longer speak in an acceptable way. Then, a year later eating became problematic, I was biting my tongue and lips, and chewing became weak and less controlled. Soon after that some fingers started to fail me and things would drop out of my hands. Somewhere at that time bulbar ALS was diagnosed. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help me. The medical team did even less. My decline was rapid and devastating.. We tried every shot available but nothing was working. There has been little if any progress in finding a reliable treatment, Our care provider introduced us to Kycuyu Health Clinic ALS/MND herbal treatment. The treatment is a miracle.i recovered significantly

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