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Local law enforcement takes the challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the Internet by storm. The challenge went viral throughout social media this summer, with nominated participants being videoed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and daring others to do the same.

Longtime Claremont resident Diane Doran lost her husband Steven “Pat” Doran to ALS several years ago, so when she was recently nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge, she and her children happily participated in honor of her late husband. The family completed the challenge and Mrs. Doran nominated her neighbor, Betty Crocker and her Keeping the Good in Our Neighborhood (KGNH) organization, to take on the challenge next.

Ms. Crocker had 24 hours to comply and she did…in a really big way.

Claremont Police Chief Paul Cooper—along with Captain Jon Traber, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Captain Don Slawson, California Highway Patrol Captain Steve Urrea and Ms. Crocker—gathered at the Claremont police station on Monday afternoon, taking their seats in front of a pretty good size audience, including City Manager Tony Ramos and Mayor Joe Lyons.

“KGNH is a community built on neighborly connections with our law enforcement, and all three agencies enthusiastically said yes,” Ms. Crocker said amid laughter from the participants. “The Doran family called out the KGNH family last night and we had 24 hours, and here we are, Diane.”

The splash began with both Chief Cooper and Ms. Crocker nominating Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. LACS Captain Urrea called out Inland Division CHP Assistant Chief Todd Sturges, while CPD Captain Traber called out La Verne Police Captain Nick Paz.

Within moments of completing the nominations, all five of the KGNH partners were soaking wet.

“Pat would have just loved this,” said Mrs. Doran after the challenge. “He would have done this himself, even if he was in a wheelchair.”

According to the ALS Association, every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease.

Often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a  fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs those afflicted with the ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The ongoing degeneration of motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action impacted, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages two to five years from the time of diagnosis.

“ALS is real. It’s not something you just read about in the newspaper or online,” says Ms. Crocker. “It’s in our community, it’s affecting people we love. It’s a big deal.”

Steven Patrick Doran was diagnosed with ALS in February 2008. His illness was painful and progressed quickly. Mr. Doran lost his battle in December 2009, leaving behind his wife Diane, son David and daughters, Melanie and Kayla. He was a musician and music lover, according to family, and had an amazing sense of humor and loved his family and his Claremont community.

In his honor, the Doran family participates every year with the Golden West Chapter of the ALS Association’s “Walk to Defeat ALS” and this year will be no different. The walk will take place in La Verne on October 12 and the Doran family welcomes everyone to join their team, Fighting Irish-Team Doran, or to donate and raise funds.

As of Wednesday, August 27, the ALS Association has received $94.3 million in Ice Bucket Challenge donations compared to $2.7 million during the same one-month period last year (July 29 to August 27). These donations have come from existing donors and 2.1 million new donors.

—Angela Bailey


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