ALS family appreciates the ice bucket challenge

Daily struggles faced by the Snow family now being brought to life by viral videos

Melissa Jenkins
Published on August 27, 2014
George Snow (front) was diagnosed with ALS in August 2009. His daughter Katie (back left) and wife Wendy have been helping any way they can since.
Photo by Melissa Jenkins/The Compass

Tens of millions of dollars have been donated to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) organizations all over the world thanks to the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

But what exactly does living with ALS mean, and how does it affect family members of those with the disease?

The Compass spoke with the Snow family of Carbonear Tuesday, Aug. 26 about how life has been since father and husband George Snow was diagnosed with ALS in 2009.

Daughter Katie has already completed the ice bucket challenge, and many locals have done it to bring awareness in honour of her father.

His wife, Wendy, a licensed practical nurse at the Interfaith Citizens Home in Carbonear, is happy to see the challenge go worldwide.

The Snow family has had their share of ups and downs, which they openly discussed as George relaxed in his armchair watching television in the next room.

For years, George has slowly lost motor function. He now sleeps downstairs, uses a walker to get around the house and is unable to speak clearly.

“The changes have definitely been the most difficult part,” Katie explained.

To read the Snow family’s story, see the Sept. 2 print edition of The Compass.