In 2014, if you were on any social media platform, then you were most likely very aware of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge was an opportunity for Facebook users to call out their friends by pouring a bucket of ice over their head while also bringing awareness for research funding for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), which is a motor neuron disease that is crippling. The disease kills the neurons that are responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. The end result is the inability to breathe, which can be a slow and tragic death. Anyone is susceptible to getting the deadly disease and it has the potential to wreak havoc on a victim’s life for years.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral overnight and ended up raising $200 million for ALS research, which places the fundraiser amongst the top of any attempted. The result of this major movement against the disease was a cause of celebration for both those who were afflicted by it and those who were determined to fight it. It was proof of what good could happen when people join together for a greater cause.
But, while there was a lot to be happy about regarding the money raised for the research, there was still a lot to be done and the fight against the disease is and will be ongoing. Unfortunately, one of the main inspirations behind the ice bucket challenge, Anthony Senerchia, recently died at the young age of 46-years-old. Shortly after marrying his wife in 2003, Senerchia was diagnosed with ALS and told that he only had a few years to live. As to be expected, Senerchia and his wife, Jeannette Hane, were devastated by the bomb that the doctor dropped on them.
“It’s a difficult disease and tough when you’re losing,” said Jeanette in a statement. “Your body is failing you. But he was a fighter…He was our light. He made our life better.”
Fourteen years after the doctor informed the couple that Anthony would only have a few years to live, he passed away, leaving behind his wife and daughter Taya, along with his parents, siblings and several family members.
While Anthony was alive, he created the Anthony Senerchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation, his has helped fund research at the Columbian Presbyterian Medical Center for ALS research. The foundation also helps aid families who are affected by the disease.
The ice bucket challenge followed Senerchia’s start of his foundation, and it all started when Jeannette’s cousin filmed himself pouring a bucket of ice over his head in 2014. Local people who knew Anthony, were quick to help spread the word about the ice bucket challenge and another sufferer named Pete Frates became a public face of the disease.
Anthony’s obituary said the following…
“Anthony will be remembered as a fireball who tried everything in life. He was family oriented, generous and always ready to lend a helping hand. He was a great husband, a proud father, a loving son and a great brother. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.”