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Man posts daily Ice Bucket Challenge video in show of support for dad with ALS

Brian Poulos, of Commack, has made a new

Brian Poulos, of Commack, has made a new ice bucket YouTube video every day and he will continue to do so until the end of the month, drawing support from local advocates. Photo Credit: YouTube

You could call the month of August Brian Poulos' personal ice age.

The Commack resident has taken the Ice Bucket Challenge -- last summer's viral campaign that raised awareness for ALS after people posted videos of themselves getting doused with ice water -- one step further.

Since Aug. 1, Poulos, 38, has made a new ice bucket YouTube video every day and he will continue to do so until the end of the month, drawing support from local advocates.

Poulos' father, Nick Poulos, 71, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2014. The neurodegenerative illness, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, slowly erodes the brain's ability to control motor functions. It has no cure and the ALS Association estimates the disease affects 20,000 Americans.

Brian began looking for ways to support his father, affectionately known as Pa. Millions of people participated in last year's Ice Bucket Challenge and he shared many Facebook friends with his wife and family members.

"I just kept thinking we have so many mutual friends on Facebook. How can we do something that won't be easily ignored?" he said. "If I can put up a challenge every day, maybe people won't scroll past it so easily."

It seems to be working. Poulos said he's heard from friends he hasn't talked to in years as well as kids his father coached in Little League, all providing support and donations. Poulos will participate in the Long Island Walk to Defeat ALS on Sept. 19 in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow with his family's team, Pa's Pals, which has raised more than $7,000.

"We think he's gone over and above," said Pat Poulos, 68, Brian's mother. "He wanted to do it for dad and the other patients he's met."

ALS Association officials said last year's challenge was so successful that they decided to continue it this summer and "until there's a cure." Sarah Pattison, senior walk program manager for the ALS Association's Greater New York Chapter, said the chapter's leaders are impressed by Poulos' personal challenge and commitment.

"We've all been following his posts closely," she said. "We're excited by the gesture."

And Poulos said he's getting used to the ice.

"I shaved my head, so messing up my hair isn't an issue," he said. "Sometimes it feels colder than other times, but it's not big deal."

Poulos has shot videos in front of Long Island landmarks such as The Big Duck and Jones Beach. He's also had special guests in some, including Rusty Hamlin, the official chef of country's Zac Brown Band, who dumped a bucket on Poulos before a concert at Citi Field.

But Poulos said his favorite -- and the experience that's been most illustrative of the cause -- was the challenge in Times Square. A stranger approached him and said that he thought the Ice Bucket Challenge was a trend from last year.

"I said it can't be last year, because there's not a cure yet," Poulos said.


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