Anthony Senerchia Jr, the inspirational man who helped launch the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, has died aged 46.
Senerchia was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2003. In 2014 he was the inspiration behind the viral Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised funds and awareness for the disease. The challenge quickly spread, with celebrities including Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. taking part, as well as hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world.
The campaign raised over $100m within 30 days, and would go on to full fund a number of research projects. Including one which led to an important scientific breakthrough. In his obituary his family said: “He worked tirelessly to raise awareness for ALS and was directly responsible for the world-renowned Ice bucket challenge.” Anthony become an inspiration for the viral challenge after his wife’s cousin, golfer Chris Kennedy, was nominated to take part in an ‘ice bucket’ challenge, which was not specifically connected to the disease. Deciding to take part, Kennedy said he would do it to raise money for ASL and passed the challenge on; from there it spread and spread. Anthony went on to set up his own charity, the Anthony Senerchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation, which donated money to the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for ALS research, as well as to families who were going through hardships due to ASL.
The obituary continues: “Anthony will be remembered as a fireball who tried everything in life. 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.”
Rest in peace Anthony!