WINDHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- If you're still not sold on the ice bucket challenge that's been spreading through social media, the ALS Association reported Tuesday that more than $22-million has come into their organization, as compared to just under $2-million in donations the year before.
Linda and John Gregoire say it's the most fun they've had since John's diagnosis 7 years ago. Because of the neurodegenerative disease, John hasn't been able to walk or speak in 5 years. Even with ALS, he decided to accept the challenge.
As an advocate for finding more funding to fight the disease, John took the challenge one step further; urging Senator Angus King, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Governor Paul LePage, and comedian Bob Marley. So far Pingree and King have accepted.
"It was intentional that I picked people from across the political spectrum and the entertainment industry. These individuals all make their livings with their voices as I did before ALS. ALS pays no heed to who you are or what you believe," says Gregoire, who now can only speak through his IPad.
To keep themselves busy and to help others, the Gregoires started the Hope-JG Foundation, with a two-fold mission: create a residence for ALS/MS patients who need constant care; and to fund and inspire technology that will ultimately help those patients live better lives.
The Gregoires are participating in Portland's Walk to Defeat ALS on September 6. To support them, click here.