Ramage takes on ice challengePublished 8:56pm Friday, August 15, 2014
The best way to beat the heat on a hot, August day is to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Just ask John Ramage.
Ramage laughingly said having a chest of ice and ice water dumped over his head was a “cool” way to help bring greater awareness to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Even before the chill bumps had gone away, Ramage had issued Ice Bucket Challenges to Steve Garrett, owner of Piggly Wiggly Troy, and Troy Mayor Jason Reeves.
“Steve and Jason will have 24 hours to accept the challenge and I’m sure they will,” Ramage said. “The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a social media sensation. It has gone viral. U.S. Senator Martha Roby accepted the challenge, as have a ton of football players and other celebrities. I thought it was my turn.”
The First National Bank president took the Ice Bucket Challenge in memory of his grandfather, Jim Ramage.
“My grandfather was only 52 years old when he passed away with a form of ALS – a sister disease with a name a mile long ,” Ramage said. “He was sick for a long time and had been home-bound for nine years before his passing.”
Ramage said his grandfather lost almost all of his motor skills.
“He couldn’t walk and moving was difficult,” he said. “He got to a point where he couldn’t hold a pencil. He was either in a chair or in bed. He really suffered.
“How or where my grandfather contracted the disease was never determined. He was in the Navy and doctors thought that head trauma he received while bouncing around on a ship in the Pacific Ocean could have been the cause.”
Ramage said medical research has determined that head trauma can be the result of football head injuries that occur over time.
“That could probably be the same kind of head injuries that my grandfather experienced 45 years ago.”
Ramage said the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is being held to raise awareness of ALS.
“The hope is to raise greater awareness of Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” he said. “Awareness of ALS is a direct link to money that is necessary for research into ALS. Awareness is the first step in the eradication of any disease.”
Ramage said the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is moving fast and he’s encouraging others to accept the challenge and issue challenges to others.
“Things on social media move fast and then it’s on to something else,” he said and added that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an opportune time to raise awareness of the progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
“The more aware people are of the disease, the great the chance of finding more effective treatments and then a cure,” he said.