North Vancouver man challenges B.C. residents to donate portion of their ICBC rebate to ALS research

Published in CTV News Vancouver April 26, 2021, written by Alyse Kotyk

A North Vancouver man battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has come up with an idea to help raise awareness and funds using recently distributed ICBC rebate cheques.

An initiative, dubbed the ICBC rebate challenge, encourages British Columbians to donate five per cent of their cheques to research and treatments for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Greg Gowe says that could raise approximately $30 million.

“This is a way of paying it forward,” Gowe told CTV News Vancouver. “To take something that has been really tough on everyone and try to turn it into what could be an incredible positive.”

Gowe says he came up with the idea after realizing just how underfunded ALS research is in B.C. and across the country.

About 3,000 Canadians are currently living with ALS and two or three people die in the country from the disease each day, the ALS Society of B.C. says.

The disease causes motor neurons to break down gradually and die. When that happens, the brain can no longer communicate with muscles in the body, and patients typically become unable to move, speak, swallow and breathe as the condition becomes worse.

Those interested in participating in the challenge can donate to ALS Action Canada.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Angela Jung and The Canadian Press

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