Freezing out ALS


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) Across the country folks are raising cold cash for a rare and terrible disease. It’s called ALS otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. People are using the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness.

Here in Terre Haute a brotherhood of coaches is using the challenge to support one of their own as he faces the toughest struggle of his life.

School is back in session and after school athletics with it. This time of year normally you’d find Chad Smith coaching cross country, but the disease ALS has robbed him of his mobility.

“Get up see what the day brings and just continue living my life, doing what I can do and just take it day by day,” Smith said of his battle with the disease.

While he was not out coaching Thursday, his rivals have brought him to the Terre Haute North High School cross country field to support him.

“the Indianapolis Colts recently challenged all of their fans to basically dump a bucket of ice on your head so you can bring awareness to ALS,” Terre Haute North Girl’s Cross Country coach Mark Urban said.

“I think ALS raised around $35,000 last year or something like that with their challenges,” Smith said. “(But) its well over $4 million this year.”

While Chad watches, his rival coaches submit to the arctic rush in the August sun.

“Most people probably think we’d be enemies,” Chad said. “But some of my closest friends are my rival coaches when I was coaching at Northview and Sullivan. ”

“Its the least we could do for Chad,” Urban said. “We are going to be raising some additional money and challenging some other coaches in the area.”

A group of coaches willing to freeze for one of their own as he runs the toughest race of his life. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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