Starns Dedicates Ice Bucket Challenge


Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

Gloria Starns, senior lecturer of mechanical engineering, accepts her ice bucket challenge that a friend issued. Starns dedicated her challenge to two students’ father who passed away due to ALS.

Emily Barske

The ALS ice bucket challenge that has captured the nation’s attention made it’s way to Iowa State again. Mechanical Engineering professor, Gloria Starns, dedicated her challenge to the deceased father of two former students.

“Two of my former students’ father was a victim of ALS. I’ll be dedicating this challenge and the money I’m giving to ALS to him,” Starns reported before completing the challenge.

The ALS ice bucket challenge is intended to raise awareness and funds for the disease. The challenge, consisting of dumping a bucket of ice over one’s head, is a fun way people are alerting the nation about the cruelness of ALS.

ISU alums, Michael and Michelle Allen, know the disease first hand. After much discrepancy on a diagnosis, their father, Gary Allen, was diagnosed with ALS in September 2010. The disease moved rapidly. In May 2011, he passed away.

Gary Allen’s wife, Diane Allen, described the experience, saying, “My husband loved to be with people. He did things for people. In the end, he couldn’t even talk to people.”

The symptoms of ALS vary by victim. Some have a prolonged battle, while others like Gary Allen are taken quickly. Unfortunately, the disease is fatal. Allen mentioned the doctors told her husband that there was no hope.

“What makes it so torturous is that the person is perfectly mentally healthy, they’re still there in spirit, but there body is failing them,” Starns described certain ALS victims.

Currently there is no known cause for the disease. The goal of the ALS ice bucket challenge is to find an answer to its cause and someday find a cure.

“I think it’s an ingenious idea. They have done a lot to bring awareness to the problem and the need for continued research,” Starns believes.

To find out more about ALS and the ice bucket challenge, visit

“When you take the ice bucket challenge, donate too!” Allen encouraged. “It’s kind of a fun thing, but if you don’t donate at least find out what this disease does because it is a very horrible disease. It takes a person’s life and turns it inside out.”