Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune Thirty Synapse Biomedical employees participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS.
Thirty Synapse Biomedical employees doused themselves last Wednesday for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The company, located on Artino Street in Oberlin, was challenged by the Northeast Ohio ALS Association Chapter.
“I want to say on behalf of Synapse we gladly accept the challenge for the second year,” said Steve Sullivan, ALS business manager for Synapse. “We look forward to helping increase the awareness of ALS and we also want to pledge $1,000 to the ALS Association.”
Synapse challenged friends and followers on the company’s Facebook page, the Synapse Biomedical European Division, and the Ohio State University marching band to accept and complete the Ice Bucket Challenge in 48 hours.
Sullivan counted down from three before the employees lifted buckets above their heads and soaked themselves in ice-cold water.
“Every one of these people here have been touched by ALS in someway a friend or family member,” Sullivan said. “It’s important to keep the awareness alive and to keep the donations coming in so we can keep those research funds full.”
Mary Wheelock, director of the Northeast Ohio ALS Association Chapter, said she’s thankful for companies like Synapse that help fight for a cure.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took off last summer with nearly 220 million people worldwide competing and raising awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
“It hasn’t taken off in the way it did last year but people are talking about ALS in a way they never have before,” Wheelock said.
Sullivan said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Synapse’s diaphragm pacer in 2011 for treating ALS patients.
“With our device we can delay the time to go on a ventilator for ALS patients,” he said. “We can’t stop the disease but we try to make their lives better and a little longer.”
The company has 780 patients in 65 centers across the U.S. and are in 25 countries, Sullivan said.
The employees will participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS at 10 a.m. Sept 27 at Baldwin Wallace University.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.