The man behind the ALS Ice bucket challenge Anthony Senerchia breathed his last on Saturday. The ALS Association credited him as one of the co-founders of the viral ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ that swept social media in 2014. The man who served as the inspiration for the hugely successful Ice Bucket Challenge died from the same illness, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 46.
Anthony Senerchia struggled with the illness, which is commonly called motor neurone disease, for 14 years but lived more than ten years beyond the doctor’s prognosis. Senerchia, who was from Pelham in New York, worked hard to raise awareness for motor neurone disease and raised over two hundred million dollars for research into the illness.
The ALS Association took it on Twitter to express their grief.
We are very sorry to share that Anthony Senerchia, co-founder of #ALSIceBucketChallenge passed away on Saturday. Please see this video to learn more about him and his wife, Jeanette, and how they helped inspire a global phenomenon. https://t.co/4HFasgcif9
— The ALS Association (@alsassociation) November 27, 2017
The campaign, which was centred on the simple premise of putting a bucket of ice-cold water over your head and then challenging a friend to do the same or donate money to The ALS Association, was an overnight success.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started in 2014 and helped to raise awareness of the disease and encourage donations to research surrounding it. Senerchia who was diagnosed in 2003, set up the Anthony Senerchia ALS Charitable Foundation which dished out financial donations to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for ALS research and to families with ALS who were grappling with financial hardship. The man however could not survive through the illness.
We mourn the loss of Anthony Senerchia Jr. and thank his family, who helped the #ALSicebucketchallenge go viral, for sharing so much of themselves as they helped others. https://t.co/7AoBqp1zcc cc @alsassociation @ionacollege @PQuinnfortheWin @ALSIceChallenge pic.twitter.com/g3HyWGipuU
— nancy cutler (@nancyrockland) November 27, 2017