A woman named Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband was diagnosed with ALS, was ice-bucket-challenged by her cousin Chris Kennedy of Sarasota, according to Time magazine. When Senerchia took on the challenge so did a bunch of people in her network, especially in her hometown of Pelham, NY. Soon that network crossed wires with the network of Pat Quinn, who’d been diagnosed with ALS in 2013. Next came the big step–the step any viral campaign needs in its DNA–the link to Pete Frates. Pete Frates is a “29-year-old former Division 1 college athlete as the Captain of Boston College Baseball who was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
Pete Frates is an enormously popular guy–a bit of Lou Gehrig in him, matter of fact. The Frates network was huge. Team FrateTrain has nearly 20,000 Likes on Facebook. The Ice Bucket Challenge exploded from there. The ALS Association didn’t even know about it until it started to receive a big bump in donations around July 29. Now Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, LeBron James and Justin Timberlake for starters have taken the ice bucket challenge for ALS. And probably you, too.