By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The man behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has died. Pete Frates — who has been battling ALS for a long time — passed away on Monday.
He was 34. He was diagnosed with ALS — which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — in 2012.
“Today Heaven received our angel: Peter Frates,” Boston College said in a statement from Frates’ family. “A husband to Julie, a father to Lucy, a son to John and Nancy, a brother to Andrew and Jennifer, Pete passed away surrounded by his loving family, peacefully at age 34, after a heroic battle with ALS.
“Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency. A natural born leader and the ultimate teammate, Pete was a role model for all, especially young athletes, who looked up to him for his bravery and unwavering positive spirit in the face of adversity. He was a noble fighter who inspired us all to use our talents and strengths in the service of others.”
Frates was a former captain on the Boston College Eagles baseball team. He also was a part of the Eagles baseball staff at one time.
Five years ago, Frates propelled the Ice Bucket Challenge into the national spotlight. Besides dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads, the individual also was asked to make a donation.
“Remarkably, Pete never complained about his illness,” the statement continued. “Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to give hope to other patients and their families. In his lifetime, he was determined to change the trajectory of a disease that had no treatment or cure. As a result, through his determination — along with his faithful supporters, Team Frate Train — he championed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
“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.”