|EMSB TO LAUNCH EDUCATIONAL COMPONENT TO ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE ON FIRST DAY OF CLASSES|
MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 - The 2014-2015 academic year will begin on Tuesday, September 2 at the English Montreal School Board with Chairman Angela Mancini embracing the Ice Bucket Challenge at Roslyn Elementary School (4699 Westmount Avenue) in Westmount at 11 a.m.
Not only will Ms. Mancini take the Ice Bucket Challenge at the school. She will also introduce an educational program about ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease.” ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body.
Diane Tkalec, a spokesperson for the ALS Society of Quebec and a nurse by profession, will speak to students about the disease which took the life of her husband. “In 2007, eleven months following his diagnosis of a bulbar form of ALS, my 49-year-old husband, physician specialist, triathlete and father to our only daughter, lost his courageous battle,” she notes. “Beneath the veil of ALS, was a remarkably gifted individual who was very engaged in living life to its fullest and who taught me much about the perseverant mindset and adaptive approach required to live and cope with a ferocious and unpredictable degenerative illness.”
The Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone's head to promote awareness of the disease. Shadd Business and Health Centre in NDG became the first EMSB school to participate last Friday. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging others to do the same. Ms. Mancini will be joined in the challenge by Vice Chair Sylvia Lo Bianco and several staff members from Roslyn.
“A very close friend of mine died from ALS a few years ago,” said Ms. Mancini. “So I know only too well the devastating effects of this disease. The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised tremendous awareness and a lot of money for the cause. As a school board I believe it is our duty to provide the necessary educational component.”
Michael J. Cohen