Co-founder of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Corey Griffin, Drowns to Death

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Former U.S. President George W. Bush takes the "Ice Bucket Challenge" which aims to raise money and awareness for ALS
Former U.S. President George W. Bush takes the "Ice Bucket Challenge" which aims to raise money and awareness for ALS, in this still image taken from video, August 20, 2014, courtesy of George W Bush. Bush posted video evidence of his soaking on Facebook. "Yesterday was Bill's birthday and my gift to Bill is a bucket of cold water," Bush said in his Facebook video, after being drenched by his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush. Reuters/Stringer

The co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Corey Griffin, drowned in a diving accident in the United States, reported Brisbane Times.

The 27-year-old had attended an event to raise funds for ALS, a cause for which he has been working for. He was one of the pioneers of the fund-raising phenomenon that is viral on the internet, raising close to $42 million, eight times of what they've been raising in the past few years. 

He lost his life in a diving accident in Nantucket in Massachusetts. Carlos Moreira, police spokesman, said that Corey had jumped from the roof of a two-storey building into the harbour at Nantucket at around 2 am on Aug 16. He submerged, then floated on the surface and again sank, not coming back on top.

Colin Perry, the off-duty lifeguard, immediately dove in and recovered Corey's body that was taken to Nantucket Cottage Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Griffin had suffered two crushed vertebrae because of the dive, said his friend, Michael Greeley. Michael remembers Corey as the kid who had a big smile on his face.

In 2012, Corey's close friend, Pete Frates, a former captain of the Boston College baseball team, was diagnosed with ALS. His struggle was what inspired Corey to come up with the Ice Bucket Challenge, making it a viral sensation.

ALS is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that causes the patients to lose control of their muscles, with a possibility of total paralysis. It is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease or motor neuron disease.

ALS Association raised funds through the Ice Bucket Challenge in which a person had to post a video of him pouring a bucket of ice water over his head and then nominating three others to do the same, failure to do so means they have to make a donation. Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Lady Gaga also took part in the challenge.

The ALS Association said in a statement: "This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the Griffin and Frates families. We commend Corey for his exemplary efforts for raising awareness and funding to fight ALS."

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