Eighteen Humble Elementary School teachers took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Wednesday, Oct. 1. The challenge held special meaning for the students and faculty, as one of their own, substitute PE teacher and student mentor Linda Kenworthy, was recently diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease).
Kenworthy was a PE teacher at Eagle Springs and Atascocita Springs elementary schools, until retiring two years ago to care for her ailing father, who has since passed away. Kenworthy said initial symptoms began to appear a few years ago, when she had difficulty pronouncing certain words. The condition worsened and she sought a diagnosis at the Mayo Clinic and other hospitals. Doctors were baffled, but suggested her illness could be Lyme Disease or ALS. In July of this year, Kenworthy received the ALS diagnosis.
In comments delivered by Humble Elementary music teacher Ruth Cooney, Kenworthy said, “[ALS] has really affected my voice. I am not able to talk or swallow very well at all. In most cases of ALS, symptoms start in one leg. It becomes harder to walk normally.The motor neurons in the brain that tell your muscles to move start dying. Over time, you are not able to move at all. After being diagnosed, the average life span is 3 to 5 years. So, you can see why I hope a cure is found quickly.”
Humble Elementary school students each contributed a minimum of $1 to watch their teachers take on the challenge, while faculty and staff contributed a minimum of $5 to the ALS Association. As of August, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $100 million for the ALS Association. For more information, or to donate, visit alsa.orgalsa.orgalsa.orgalsa.org .
Photos by Susan McFarland
Humble Elementary staff recently completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for friend and colleague Linda Kenworthy. From left are Kenworthy, Broderick Lindsey, Amy Mitchell, Gwen Lopez, Keith Kitts, Alyse Troller, Principal Stacey Trost, Cathy Whitaker, Allyson Cummings, Maria Munoz, Sarah Robinson and Samantha Atchetee.