Friend of man who inspired Ice Bucket Challenge dies in accident

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(CNN) — A friend of the man who inspired the viral “Ice Bucket Challenge” died this weekend in a diving accident.

An off-duty lifeguard happened to be nearby and recovered Corey Griffin, 27, from the bottom of the harbor, police in Nantucket, Massachusetts, said in a statement. He was transported to an area hospital and was pronounced dead early Saturday morning.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a social media campaign that aims to raise awareness and money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

According to CNN affiliate WCVB, Griffin died within hours of raising $100,000 for an ALS charity.

“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,” Pete Frates posted on his Facebook account.

Frates, a former baseball player at Boston College, has been living with ALS since 2012.

He floated the idea of the challenge and his former teammates, as well as other Boston-area athletes, took him up on it. It was noticed and covered by local media and that attention, along with the social Web’s viral nature, launched it onto a much larger stage.

Athletes, celebrities and politicians, as well as everyday folks, have gotten in on the act.

The idea is simple: dump a bucket of ice cold water over your head, then challenge a friend, or friends, to either do the same or donate money to the ALS Association. And it’s making a difference.

The ALS Association reports that it received $13.3 million in donations from July 29 to August 17, compared to $1.7 million during the same time last year.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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  • John

    The ice bucket challenge goes back before these two, and wasn’t meant to be just ALS. Sad story, but poor reporting and research.

    • Michelle

      Does it really matter who started it and where the proceeds go?? Is there one cause that’s more deserving than another?? And this is what you got from this story, right?? Idiot.

  • MAC

    I can’t help but think that some of this PR is coming from the RTL movement. If is was simply a personal decision- it should have been private and not promoted as it has been. The feelings they associate with this baby are incorrect and they ignore the fact that this baby had no functioning brain from the time he was conceived. He could not feel, hear or see anything, he had no sense of his surroundings and any reflex he demonstrated was involuntary and fleeting. They brought this fetus to term for their own purposes. The genetic defect this baby had is not uncommon, and this is not the first couple to have conceived a child with this defect. From those I have seen posting this, it appears that the Catholic Church in the Philadelphia area is promoting this, with all its misconceptions.

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