Minnesota town honors Jasper, Minn. man with ALS - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Minnesota town honors Jasper, Minn. man with ALS

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The entire community of Jasper, Minn. came together to not only raise awareness for ALS but to celebrate the life of one of their own, Glenn Bolkema who was diagnosed with ALS 12 years ago.

I did not expect this many people to be here," said Bruce Bolkema, Glenn's son.

2002 is when Glenn was diagnosed with ALS. He was given three to five years to live. 12 years later -- Glenn is still defying those odds.

"I was 12 and and I just turned 25 -- so he's had it more than half my life, which is kind of weird to say," said Bruce.

This is one of the reasons why there still isn't a cure for ALS. The disease affects everyone differently and progresses at different rates. Glenn's has progressed slowly.

"It's getting harder to understand him. He gets winded really easily but considering the fact that he's not supposed to be here and everybody thought he was going to be gone a lone time ago, pretty good," said Bruce.

To Glenn, the Ice Bucket Challenge signifies hope -- that one day there will be a cure for ALS.

"It probably won't be found in my lifetime, but at least maybe for the next generation there will be a cure," said Glenn.

Glenn even got in on the challenge. Whoever wished to donate the most money could do the honors. 

Heroes come in all forms. For the town of Jasper, Glenn is that hero.

People aren't just pouring ice water -- money has been rushing in to the National ALS Association. The group says it has received $41.8 million in donations since July 29 -- compare to that just $2.1 million in donations over the same time period last year.

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