WATCH: Corey Griffin died tragically on Saturday is remembered by his childhood friends
TORONTO – A 27-year-old Massachusetts man died Saturday during a celebration for raising US$100,000 towards ALS research.
Corey Griffin, a former college hockey player, jumped off the top of a building on Nantucket Island into the water below at around 2 a.m.
Police say Griffin floated to the surface before going under and not coming back up.
Griffin was pulled from the water shortly after by an off-duty life guard.
After police performed CPR trying to resuscitate him, he was sent to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Griffin was close friends with Pete Frates, whose battle with ALS launched the ice bucket challenge.
The challenge — which has people posting videos of themselves pouring buckets of icy water over their heads — has help raise more than US$11 million in donations towards ALS research.
“Team FrateTrain lost a good friend today,” Frates posted on his Facebook page Sunday about Griffin.
“Helping out was nothing new for Griff. He held his own event for me back in 2012, just a few months after diagnosis. He worked his butt off these last few weeks for ALS. We texted everyday, planning and scheming ways to raise funds and plan events.”
Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS gradually paralyzes the body. According to Lisa Pluhowy, president of the ALS Society of Saskatchewan, sufferers will eventually “lose their ability to hug, speak, and even breathe.”
ALS Canada says two out of 100,000 people 18 years and older are diagnosed with ALS each year. Ninety per cent die within five years of being diagnosed.
About 3,000 Canadians live with the disease, which has no cure or effective treatment.
-With files from Steve Silva