Anthony Senerchia didn’t let his disease get him down. Instead, he used it as a way to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, through inspiring a viral sensation, the ice bucket challenge. And after a 14-year battle with ALS, Senerchia passed away on Nov. 25.
On the off chance you’re not familiar, the ice bucket challenge involves dumping a bucket of ice over your head and sharing a video of it online. You can challenge your friends to do so, too. If you participate, you can also make a donation to the ALS Association to help support the ALS community.
The trend started in 2014 when Senerchia and two others fighting ALS, Pat Quinn and Pete Frates teamed up to make a difference. Since then, millions of videos have been posted and over $200 million for ALS research has been donated.
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It causes muscles to deteriorate, therefore potentially causing the loss of movement, speech and breathing, according to the ALS Association.
Along with inspiring millions online, Senerchia also inspired his family, his wife, Jeanette and his daughter, Taya.
“It’s a difficult disease and tough when you’re losing,” Jeanette Senerchia told Lohud.com. “Your body is failing you. But he was a fighter… He was our light. He made our life better.”
Anthony Senerchia Jr., who served as an inspiration behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, died this past weekend after a battle with ALS. http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=88890X1542043&url=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FaCX8mffmaX pic.twitter.com/CDuRLLWXAV
— E! News (@enews) November 30, 2017
Anthony and Jeanette were high school sweethearts, and shortly after they were married, Anthony was diagnosed with ALS in 2003. Five years after the diagnosis, the couple had a daughter. Taya is now nine years old, and there’s a fund online you can donate to in order to help pave the way for her future.
In his 46 years of life, Senerchia managed to inspire many and raise awareness about the disease that would ultimately take his life, and based on the reaction to his death online, his story has touched the hearts of many.
People are sending their condolences online.
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. http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=88890X1542043&url=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2F4HFasgcif9
— The ALS Association (@alsassociation) November 27, 2017
Anthony Senerchia Jr. He inspired the entire community of Pelham, New York, with his love of football, and courage. Then, an entire nation… #icebucketchallenge #als #defeatALS pic.twitter.com/0ynEo0fs2r
— Dave Garufi (@Iona1991) November 27, 2017
wishing all family members, friends and other relations light & strength in the times yet to come
— Marlies van Eunen (@vaneun) November 27, 2017
I'm so sorry to hear this. Sending thoughts and prayers to all who's lives he touched.
— Chris Johnson (@chrisj61166832) November 27, 2017
R.I.P. Anthony Senerchia Jr. who passed away a few days ago from #ALS. Anthony was the inspiration behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral around the world & raised approx. $139-million with 6 different ALS charities. Thanks to all those who participated/donated.
— Mark Monsma (@monsmaark) December 1, 2017
Our hearts go out to the Senerchia family. To help find a cure for ALS, you can donate to the ALS Association.