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Jennifer Aniston accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Celebs making a difference

When it comes to celebrities, the media usually focuses on their extreme extravagances, such as Kim Kardashian's wedding, or their outrageous arguments as in the "Real Housewives." But in a rare example of shining the spotlight on positive news, stars stepping up to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and help raise money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease are receiving attention. The newest willing victim of the challenge is Jennifer Aniston, reported Us Weekly on Aug. 24.

Jennifer Aniston takes the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Jennifer accepted the challenge from her fiance and posted a video of her decision to donate as well as endure the ice bath. "Hi, I'm Jennifer Aniston and I accept this ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Justin Theroux," she said. "I'm going to make a huge ginormous donation and so should you."

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge originally was intended to give people a choice. They could either take the challenge or donate. But most celebrities are choosing to do both.

Justin helped Jennifer complete the challenge by pouring the ice water over her head. She nominated Courteney Cox and Chelsea Handler to take the challenge next, reported E News on Aug. 24.

Ranked as the most viral campaign to raise money and awareness for a health cause, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was also taken by Justin. He said he nominated Jennifer "because she's not here with me to see this" as his friend Jason Bateman soaked him complete.

The ALS Association has received $70.2 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 24), said the organization in an Aug. 24 announcement. These donations have come from existing donors and 1.3 million new donors to The Association.

Other celebrities who have taken the challenge include Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift. They are among the 1.7 million new donors to the association.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is categorized as a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Because it attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord, patients become paralyzed as the disease spreads. More than 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS annually.

Although the average life expectancy of an ALS patient is two to five years from the initial diagnosis, the newest research discoveries and medical advancements have made a difference. Up to 10 percent now live more than 10 years.

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