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Guardian Liberty Voice has updated this article to reflect that Corey Griffin was a supporter, not co-founder as previously indicated, of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
One of the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Ice Bucket Challenge supporters, Corey Griffin, died on Saturday morning due to an unfortunate diving accident. Just a few weeks before his passing, Griffin helped raise $100,000 for his close friend Pete Frates who suffers from the disease. The campaign went viral, encouraging celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake and Jon Bon Jovi to participate in the crusade. The donations have now reached $22.9 million to the ALS Association.
According to police officials, Griffin dove off of a building at Straight Wharf into the water at about two o’clock Saturday morning and drowned soon after. The report states that after jumping into the water, Griffin floated to the surface but then his body went under a second time and did not resurface. He was 27-years-old.
After the incident, an off-duty lifeguard recovered Griffin’s body from the water. CPR was performed by officers before he was taken to the nearest hospital and pronounced dead.
Griffin worked for a finance firm in New York called Risk Assistance Network + Exchange (RANE) and graduated from Babson College. He attended Boston College and played hockey for the university before transferring to Babson. Frates spoke out about Griffin’s death on his Facebook page and stated that “Team FrateTrain” lost a great friend. Frates went on by saying Griffin’s selfless acts of kindness were usual facets of his personality and that his comrade was always looking to lend a hand for those in need. For example, Griffin had hosted an event for Frates in 2012 shortly after the former Boston College baseball player was diagnosed with the illness.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative illness that is progressive and affects nerve cells in the spinal cord and in the brain. Neurons that control motor function begin at the brain and travel to the spinal cord and then to the muscles throughout the entire body. After the motor neurons die, the brain can no longer control muscle movement. Patients who lose voluntary muscle function may become completely paralyzed. The degeneration of these motor neurons from ALS ultimately leads to a person’s death.
Robert Griffin, Corey’s father, spoke to the Boston Globe following the death of his son from the diving accident. He stated the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge founder was the happiest man in the world due to the recent success from the supportive movement. Robert continued by saying that his son called him the night before he passed and told him that he “was in paradise.”
Although Griffin did not have a direct affiliation with the ALS Association, the organization responded to the news of his death by saying, “Our hearts go out to the Griffin and Frates families.” The organization added their praise to Corey for his outstanding efforts in raising awareness and donations to help fight ALS.
Griffin and Frates were quite the team before the accident, inspiring celebrities nationwide to take part in the challenge. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral, encouraging everyone to participate in and support the cause. Corey Griffin was a giving and compassionate person, willing to donate all of his time and efforts in order to help others. Griffin died from a diving accident, but his hard work will live on in those who struggle with ALS and for the people who assist in spreading awareness about the disease.
By Amy Nelson