Senerchia was first diagnosed with ALS back in 2003, shortly after marrying his wife, Jeanette Hane. Both of them were devastated by the news, especially considering that doctors told Senerchia he only had a few years to live. Despite this, he was able to power through and managed to hold out for a whopping 14 years past his diagnosis.
“It’s a difficult disease and tough when you’re losing,” said Jeanette in a statement. “Your body is failing you. But he was a fighter…He was our light. He made our life better.”
According to his obituary, Senerchia created the Anthony Senerchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation, which helped fund research at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for ALS research and aided families affected by the disease. However, his greatest contribution to the cause would come in 2014, when Jeanette's cousin filmed himself doing an Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness and research.
Local people immediately linked the challenge to Anthony, who would become one of several public faces of the phenomenon, along with another ALS sufferer named Pete Frates. Once people had faces to relate to the disease, the challenge took off like a rocket.
“Anthony will be remembered as a fireball who tried everything in life,” his obituary reads. “He was family oriented, generous and always ready to lend a helping hand. He was a great husband, a proud father, a loving son and a great brother. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.”
Anthony is survived by his wife Jeanette, his daughter Taya, his parents, his brothers, and a large extended family. We wish them all the best during this difficult time.