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How The Ice Bucket Challenge Founder Lost His Battle With ALS, But May Still Win The War

LoHud

The death of Anthony Senerchia has hit close to home for many people. A life that was brief, but far reaching for many people due to his lasting impact on the ALS community.

Senerchia was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2006, and was a civil engineer, a former football star, and had a happy family before succumbing to the disease at the age of 46.

After his diagnosis, Senerchia knew he had to try and do something with his life in order to make a difference in this world. He began the Anthony Senerchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation, which directs funding ALS research and helps families with relatives suffering from ALS.

However he is known for the viral internet sensation, the "Ice Bucket Challenge," where people around the world would record a video of them dumping ice water onto their bodies, replicating the feeling of ALS symptoms.

Participants who completed the challenge would then nominate someone else to do the same, and would have 24 hours to participate, or make a charitable donation towards the cause.

The response was incredible.

The campaign began when a relative of Senerchia challenged his wife to join the "Cold Water Challenge", which was popular at the time, but the husband and wife saw the potential to bring awareness to a disease that wasn't well-known.

People were quick to join in on the fad, with famous celebrities such as Oprah, Jimmy Fallon, Taylor Swift, Bill Gates, and many more taking part to bring attention to this terrible disease.

I challenge #StevenSpielberg, #HelenMirren and @DayalManish. In the name of ALS...

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on

The results were staggering: 17 million online videos of people taking part were recorded, with over 440 million views, and a whopping $200 million raised for ALS research and advocacy.

Senerchia was able to survive with ALS for 14 years, and in that time witnessed the vital change he had started in order to help people across the world still suffering from the disease.

Because of his ALS diagnosis, Senerchia was unable to purchase life insurance, but you can donate to a fund to help his family in this difficult period. He is survived by his wife and young daughter.

Share if you believe Senerchia was a true hero and deserves to be honored!