Man who helped inspire Ice Bucket Challenge dies from ALS at age 46

Anthony Senerchia Jr., the man who inspired the ice bucket challenge, died of ALS Saturday. Facebook

Anthony Senerchia Jr., the man who helped inspire the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, died on Saturday after a lengthy battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 46.

Senerchia was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, shortly after marrying his high school sweetheart, in 2003, his obituary read.

READ MORE: The success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

After his diagnosis, he worked tirelessly to raise awareness for ALS and helped fuel the viral Ice Bucket Challenge.

In 2014, when his wife’s cousin, golfer Chris Kennedy, was nominated to participate in the challenge, it was not yet connected to ALS, according to People. But when Kennedy did the Ice Bucket Challenge, he chose to do it for ALS because of Senerchia’s battle with the disease.

WATCH: The Ice Bucket Challenge sparked a global campaign for ALS in 2014

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It then became an internet sensation. People around the world dumped buckets of ice over their heads, challenging their peers to do the same while raising money for ALS.

The challenge raised more than US$200 million for ALS research, according to the obituary.

READ MORE: Where $1M of your Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising money went

Senerchia also started the ALS Charitable Foundation.

“Anthony’s positive attitude and fighting spirit helped him beat doctors’ expectations by living more than ten years beyond their prognosis,” the obituary stated.

“Throughout his fight, Anthony maintained a positive attitude and would say, ‘It’s not what we take from life, but what we give back to others is what ultimately defines us’.”

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