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Aid surges after death of Ice Bucket co-founder

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Donations have surged since one of the founders of the Ice Bucket Challenge for sufferers of the motor neuron disease ALS drowned in a diving accident in the US state of Massachusetts last week. The death of 27-year-old Corey Griffin made headlines in the US.

The challenge is an international campaign to raise money and awareness for ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The ALS Association says by Thursday, donations had reached around 41.8 million dollars.

Participants in the campaign either take up the challenge of dumping a bucket of ice water over themselves or opt to make a donation to charities supporting ALS patients. They then nominate 3 friends to do the same.

The initiative has been spreading rapidly in recent weeks through social networking services with famous figures such as former US President George W. Bush and Microsoft founder Bill Gates soaking themselves in ice water.

The challenge has now reached Japan. Nobel Prize-winning scientist Shinya Yamanaka and SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son have taken up the challenge.

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