Anthony Senerchia, the man who inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, recently died from the disease at the young age of 46, according to Legacy.com. News of Senerchia's death was reported originally at lohud.com.
Senerchia was diagnosed with the disease in 2003, almost immediately after marrying his high school sweetheart, Jeanette Hane.
Although the disease would cause him immense difficulties toward the end of his life, he was still able to inspire the nation. As Lohud.com puts it, Senerchia's diagnosis put his mind and body to the test, but it was also able to inspire him to start a great charitable foundation. His daughter, Taya, who was born nine years ago, was also an important inspiration for the creation of the organization.
When he was younger and attending Pellham Memorial High School, he earned the reputation as an outstanding football player. After high school, he went on to earn a degree in civil engineering, worked as a project manager for a New York City construction company, and then started his very own contracting business called SCC Construction.
Years after graduating from high school, Senerchia started his own local football league. As a result, his high school provides an annual award in his name to players with outstanding character and leadership capabilities.
Senerchia's diagnosis significantly changed the course of his life. Soon after receiving the depressing news he created the Anthony Serenchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation. The goal of the foundation was to raise funds for ALS research and to assist families whose loved ones have been diagnosed with the disease.
In 2014, Senerchia's cousin, Chris Kennedy, who is a professional golfer, challenged her to participate in the so-called "ice bucket challenge." According to Legacy.com, Kennedy is thought to be the first person to participate in the challenge. Soon thereafter, thousands of people participated in the challenge, including Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Ted Cruz, and others.
Lohud.com writes that at first, it was sent as a joke, but then it turned into something extraordinary. Soon after Kennedy's participation, it went absolutely viral. In fact, the challenge raised over $115 million in 2014, with $89 million funding research for a treatment and cure, and all in an eight-week period.
His obituary requests donations for his daughter, Taya, since Anthony wasn't able to obtain life insurance while he was alive. You can find the link to donate to Taya at Legacy.com.
Senerchia's funeral Mass will be taking place on Wednesday.
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