Taking ALS Ice Bucket Challenge A Step Further - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Taking ALS Ice Bucket Challenge A Step Further

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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a charitable craze that is sweeping the nation, and we all know plenty of people in the QCA who have taken part. But, now, one local man is taking it one step further, using the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a woman who lost her husband to the disease and her ongoing fight to one day find a cure.

"He had T-shirts for every benefit. He was very proud of all his T-shirts, and that was the original T-shirt: "Help Wes Beat ALS," Rose Deibert explained as she looked at a photo of her late husband hanging on the wall of her Rock Island home.

The photo is a happy reminder of her husband, Wes, and his selfless spirit, even as he succumbed to the fatal disease.

"He was diagnosed in March 2010 and he died in May 2012," Deibert recalled.

Since then, the widow has lived with wrinkled carpet, damage left behind by her husband's heavy wheel chair.

"Not only is it an eyesore, I'm sure it was really emotionally sore for her to see this," said Eric Gibbs, a flooring subcontractor who donated his time and effort Tuesday afternoon to stretch the carpet.

Now, thanks to all of his hard work, the wrinkles are gone.

"It looks wonderful. It's great," when Deibert saw the results. "It's just a wonderful thing for him to do."

Gibbs says he thinks it's wonderful how things worked out for him to be able to help.

"It's fate. It's fate at its best," he said.

It turns out that Gibbs booked the job at Deibert's home last week and scheduled the work for this Tuesday, before he was nominated for the ALS ice bucket challenge. When he agreed to do the work, he had no idea what had caused the damage to her carpets.

But, when Gibbs was nominated for the ice bucket challenge on Sunday, he knew he wanted to do more:

"To me, awareness without action is worthless," he said. "I don't believe in dumping water over my head, because how are we going to find a cure if you dump water over your head. That's not the cure."

Gibbs turned to Facebook to ask for help finding a local family that was directly affected by ALS to learn more about the disease. That's when Deibert's daughter contacted Gibbs and pointed out that he had already booked the work on the ALS damaged carpets.

Gibbs then offered to do the job for free.

"She was very thankful," Gibbs recalled of that conversation. "She demanded that she give me money. I said, 'no, I will not do it. I'm doing this for Wes."

But the decision to donate the $200 or so in labor to fix the carpet was just the start.

Gibbs' friends joined in with other gifts for Deibert, too, with one giving a hundred dollars in products for her to pamper herself, and another donating $500 to be given on top of the $100 check Gibbs had already written.

"And he said you can do what ever you want with this money," Deibert said. "The MDA was near dear to Wes' heart so I'm either going to donate it to the MDA or find somebody that has just been diagnosed with ALS and see if they need anything and just give it them."

Gibbs says the carpet stretching work Tuesday was part two of his ALS challenge. Part one took place the night before when Gibbs took Deibert to dinner and had her throw the traditional bucket of ice water on him for good measure.

But he's not nominating anyone else to do the same. Instead, he's issuing a different challenge:

"Challenge yourself to educate yourself. Challenge yourself to donate. And challenge yourself to find research for this cure to save families like Rose's from going through what they did."

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