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ALS challenge is personal for DPT students

DPT does the Ice Bucket Challenge

The moment of truth: DPT students take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Photo: Douglas Levere

By SUE WUETCHER

Published August 28, 2014

Honoring Al

UB DPT students take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in honor of friend and mentor Al Caffiero, who has been battling ALS since the early 1990s.

The challenge was personal for members of UB’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2015 and physical therapy program director Kirk Personius.

More than 30 members of the class and Personius, led by student Laura DiPasquale, gathered in front of Kimball Tower on the South Campus on Aug. 22 and took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in honor of friend and mentor Al Caffiero. Caffiero, a prominent physical therapist and benefactor of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been battling ALS since the early 1990s.

DiPasquale explains that patients diagnosed with ALS —a progressive neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — typically have a lifespan of between two and five years.

“Al, despite his diagnosis … continues to remain a part of the UB family and an inspiration to all of us here,” she says.

The class has issued an ice bucket challenge to Mark Sleeper, the DPT program’s newest faculty member, as well as the DPT classes of 2015 at Daemen and D’Youville colleges.

Caffiero, who taught at the School of Public Health and Health Professions for more than 30 years, established a scholarship, the Alfred T. Caffiero Scholarship, which is awarded annually to DPT students during their last year of study at UB.

The DPT students are not the only members of the UB community to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Others include University Police officers; Campus Living and Residential Life staff; Victor E. Bull, head football coach Jeff Quinn and players Tony Daniels and Joe Licata; and staff from the Undergraduate Academies.

A playlist of videos of UB participants in the ALS Ice Bucket challenge can be viewed online.