Community completes ice bucket challenge for ALS in Cape Coral

A community failed to make the Guiness Book of World Records this weekend, but it succeeded in gathering to bring awareness for ALS — Lou Gehrig’s’ disease. And everyone succeeded in warming the hearts of a woman and her family, who continue to make it their mission to bring awareness to ALS while she lives with it.

“They told us it will give her maybe a month longer to live,” Wayne Heard said of his wife, Hilde. “And that was in [2007]. And she’s still here. That’s the fight in her.”

Community members brought back the ice bucket challenge at Cape Coral High School Sunday — made popular in 2014 to bring awareness for ALS — and they attempted to break a world record for number of participants in the challenge.

Hilde Heard was a main focus for the challenge. She lives with an advanced stage of ALS. She continues to defy the odds doctors gave her for living, and the community has rallied around her and her family as she continues her journey with the disease.

“One day she quit saying why me and said, ‘We’re going to do something about this,’” Wayne said.

Local salon, Cre8, sponsored the event. It’s a place that Hilde has been going to for decades, and the salon wanted to be a part of the day’s mission to have the largest ice bucket challenge ever seen.

“She’s been a quiet client of mine for over 20 years,” said Marcy Sagorac, Cre8 co-owner. “We saw her at the salon go from a cane to a wheelchair to an electronic wheelchair. And now she actually works a computer with only her eyes. She has a trach and a gastric tube.”

But none of that stopped Hilde or the community.

“Her mission in life is to bring awareness to ALS,” Sagorac said.

Volunteers filled 800 buckets of ice to prepare for the number needed to break the world record. And they lined the field to form the name Ellen.

“Ellen’s a powerful woman, and [She and hilde] need to meet,” Sagorac said. “We want to bring ultimate awareness.”

They didn’t get to 800, but Hilde still watched as hundreds of ice buckets tumbled onto heads all to bring awareness to a much bigger challenge.

“Event’s like this mean the world to me,” Hilde sent in an email. “They are the lifeline for me and all the ALS patients. It means help and hope. We are not forgotten.”

 

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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