Man who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge dies aged 34
Pete Frates, the man behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, has died at the age of 34-years-old.
A statement from his family was posted on the Boston College website (where he was the former captain of Boston Colleg's baseball team) revealed that "Pete passed away surrounded by his loving family, peacefully at age 34, after a heroic battle with ALS."
Back in 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge swept over social media. The challenge involved participants recording themselves pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over themselves, share the video to social media, and then nominating three other people to take part in the challenge.
Each person would then make a donation to organizations like the ALS Association or the Motor Neurone Disease Association, who work tirelessly to combat the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease).
The challenge was a global success, with people all over the world raising both money and awareness for the disease.
Check out these 10 celebrities take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:
Overall, per The Independent, the challenge raised more than $220 million for research in an attempt to cure the disease.
Frates was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. There is still no known cure for the disease, which weakens the body's muscles and impairs physical functioning, and eventually leads to paralysis and death.
In 2014, Frates asked his friends and family to take the challenge, taking inspiration from the ice-bucket dumping of his College baseball days. The LA Times reports that the combination of Frates' family and friends challenging each other and his involvement in the sports world meant the cause spread like wildfire in the Boston area - and thanks to social media, the Ice Bucket Challenge spread globally.
"Pete never complained about his illness. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to give hope to other patients and their families," the family said in the statement. "In his lifetime, he was determined to change the trajectory of a disease that had no treatment or cure."
His family are now once again encouraging people to donate in his memory at petefrates.com/donate. They added:
"We ask that you celebrate Pete and the hope that he has given to so many by following his daily affirmation: Be passionate, be genuine, be hardworking and don’t ever be afraid to be great."