MARTINEZ (KPIX) — Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge?
A Martinez man has come up with a sequel to that fundraiser which is gaining momentum.
Last fall, 22-year-old Osiel Mendoza was diagnosed with ALS — Lou Gehrig’s disease — the incurable nervous system disorder that attacks muscles.
Three days before the diagnosis, he had proposed to his sweetheart since 8th grade, Bella Gonsalves.
“Knowing that that might be cut short and we might not be able to live out those dreams is the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in my entire life,” Mendoza remembers.
“We take it day by day and we’re getting through it. I’m just happy to have him by my side,” said Gonsalves.
Mendoza decided to raise $30,000 for ALS research — the number 30 in honor of his favorite Golden State Warriors player, Stephen Curry.
Gonsalves helped him develop something beyond the Ice Bucket Challenge, which the ALS Association said raised more than $115 million to help the 20,000 Americans living with ALS.
Their new challenge: #YolkUp4ALS.
To participate, you down a raw egg — or eat a hard-boiled one — then flex your muscles while getting wet in the Ice Bucket Challenge, then you donate $20 to the ALS Therapy Development Institute which is researching a cure.
“That’s the biggest goal that we have in mind — to end the suffering,” Mendoza said.
The average life expectancy of ALS patients after diagnosis is between two to five years.
Mendoza has twitches and cramps in his legs and he moves slower than he used to. But he’s determined to live his life to the fullest.
Mendoza just graduated with his sports business degree from the University of Oregon and he and Gonsalves plan to marry this fall.
Although he has almost reached the $30,000 goal in three weeks, he says that’s just an egg-cellent start.