For The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY — The Ice Bucket Challenge has returned, and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute is encouraging Catholics to participate.
“While 2014 brought awareness to the need for ALS funding, it’s still crucial for all of us to continue supporting ALS research through donations,” Jay Kamath, CEO of John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI), says.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was a global phenomenon last year as hundreds of thousands of people dumped ice water over their heads to raise money for ALS research. The challenge was an initiative of the ALS Association to raise funds for the rare but fatal neurological disease. A number of pro-life individuals expressed concern about the ALS Association’s support of embryonic stem cell research. JP2MRI offered a way for these people to support ALS research so that it would not conflict with their values. The Institute is among select groups focusing on medical research that does not support or participate in the use of embryonic stem cells or aborted fetuses.
JP2MRI received $450,000 in donations from all 50 states and 38 countries last year.
Using only adult stem cells and IPS cells, JP2MRI’s scientists are working to find better treatments and hopefully a cure for ALS. However, medical research requires constant funding and the JP2MRI is reaching out to everyone participating in the Challenge that started again this month.
“Continued support will enable our Institute to build on our current research milestones as we work toward finding a cure for ALS and possible cures for other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis as well. While the science industry is an expensive endeavor, we’re committed in our mission to use ethical research efforts to develop better therapies and cures for a variety of diseases,” Kamath says.
And what did JP2MRI do with all that money? Ninety percent of donations for ALS went directly toward ALS research. Their science team produced a number of stem cell lines for ALS and other neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and these lines have the potential to enter clinical trials.
“We hope that you will help make this year’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge even more successful than 2014,” Kamath says. “Every donation helps.”
For more information, contact Jennifer Moy at (319) 655-3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.