Peter Frates who started the viral Ice Bucket Challenge died after a battle with ALS
- Peter Frates, the man who helped launch the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, has died.
- Frates, 34, a former all-star athlete, was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 and launched the challenge two years later raise funds.
- The challenge spread like wildfire with several celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, athletes, and even nuns partaking in it.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
The man who championed the viral Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has died.
Peter Frates, 34, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family after a long battle with ALS, his family said on Monday in a statement released by Boston College.
ALS, also known as motor neuron disease and Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rare neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, according to the ALS Association. The disease causes muscles to deteriorate, or atrophy, over time, impacting the patient's ability to move, speak, and breathe. There is currently no known cure.
Frates was one of the most recognisable faces behind the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014, which raised more than $220 million for ALS research, ESPN reported.
"Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency," the statement by his family reads.
Frates was an all-star athlete who played center field for Division I Boston College, and he briefly played professional ball overseas, before returning to Boston where he met his wife Julie, "Good Morning America" reported.
In 2012, at the age of 27, Frates started to experience difficulty in performing everyday tasks. He underwent a series of tests, and doctors diagnosed him with ALS shortly after.
More than two years after his diagnosis, Frates and two of his friends from Boston College came up with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and funds towards finding a cure to the disease.
The trio challenged their friends, including a major network of athletes, to dump an ice bucket over their heads, donate to ALS, and dare other friends to do the same within 24 hours, CNN reported.
The challenge spread like wildfire from major athletes such as NBA giants Lebron James and Kevin Durant, and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pratt, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga partaking.
"As a result, through his determination - along with his faithful supporters, Team Frate Train - he championed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge," the family's statement read. "In August of 2014, the historic movement pioneered social media fundraising and garnered donations globally that resulted in better access to ALS care, genetic discoveries, treatments and, someday, a cure. He was a beacon of hope for all."
"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," his family continued.
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