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On November 25, Anthony Senerchia Jr., the man who helped propel the Ice Bucket Challenge into popularity, died 14 years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 46 years old.
"Anthony's positive attitude and fighting spirit helped him beat doctors' expectations by living more than ten years beyond their prognosis," his obituary stated.
How did Senerchia inspire the viral movement? As Time reported in 2014, a man named Chris Kennedy from Sarasota, Florida, was nominated to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which had no ties to ALS at the time–participants could donate money to any charity they wanted. Kennedy then passed the challenge along to Senerchia–his cousin's husband–who passed it along to someone else with the disease. Soon enough, the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS became linked. Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, also helped inspire the challenge when 200 people in Boston poured ice over their heads in his honor and it went viral.
– Chris Kennedy (@ckgolfsrq) July 15, 2014
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in someone's brain and spinal cord, and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 70 years old. What happens is that the neurons that control motor function deteriorate and die, leaving the brain unable to send signals to the muscles to move. This causes people with the disease eventually lose the ability to speak, move, eat, and breathe.
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According to The ALS Association, $115 million was donated in a two-month period in 2014 by people participating in the challenge, which went towards research for treatments and a cure.
In honor of Senerchia and what he inspired, here are a few of the most memorable Ice Bucket Challenge videos.