A member of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has taken the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and pay tribute to a friend, also a member of AAMI, who is suffering from the disease.
In a video posted earlier this month on YouTube, Ray Taurasi, director of clinical sales and services at Healthmark Industries, says his daughter made the challenge, and he accepted.
“I am doing this in honor of my dear friend Michele DeMeo, who is battling this horrific disease,” Taurasi says, adding that he also would make a donation to the ALS Association.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has become a social media and viral sensation with entertainment figures, politicians, and people from all walks of life challenging one another to get doused with a bucket of ice water-or make a donation to ALS research. Many people opt to do both, and countless online videos attest to the popularity of the novel fundraising tactic.
“I have also challenged all my Healthmark colleagues and readers of the Healthmark Digest” to take the challenge, Taurasi said in a message to DeMeo. Several of his colleagues have followed his lead, including company president Mark Basile, who posted his own video on the company’s Facebook page.
DeMeo thanked Taurasi and the praised Healthmark as a whole. ”I have had the most respect for them for so many reasons,” she wrote in an e-mail. “I am so touched.”
DeMeo is a recognizable figure among AAMI volunteers. She has volunteered her time, contributing to BI&T (Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology) and AAMI’s blog while battling both ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and cancer. Despite her illness, she has inspired many and continues to contribute to many AAMI initiatives. For example, she delivered a powerful videotaped message at last year’s Summit on Healthcare Technology in Nonclinical Settings.
To learn more about DeMeo and her story, visit her LinkedIn page.
As of Aug. 26, the ALS Association has received $88.5 million in donations since July 29. That’s up from $2.5 million during the same time last year, the association said in a prepared statement.