Peter Frates, inspiration for the ice bucket challenge, dies at 34

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Boston, Mass. (NBC)(12/10/19)— Peter Frates, the man with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) that inspired and championed the ALS ice bucket challenge, has died at 34.

Frates’ family confirmed his passing on Monday, stating that he never complained about his disease, instead seeing it as an opportunity.

Frates, a former Boston College baseball player, was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. He then created a viral social media sensation, the ice bucket challenge, to raise awareness and funds for the neurodegenerative disease.

According to the ALS Association, the challenge raised more than $200 million worldwide, as people posted videos of themselves having a bucket of ice water poured on them, challenging others to do the same along with a donation to the ALS Association.

ALS is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in honor of the New York Yankee’s first baseman that was diagnosed with the disease in 1939 and quit baseball two days later.

Brian Frederick, Vice President of Communications for the ALS Association, told NBC News on Monday that over 17 million people participated in the ice bucket challenge, resulting in 2.5 million donors to ALS causes.

Frates is survived by his wife, Julie, and their young daughter Lucy. They have asked that people consider donating to the Peter Frates Family Foundation in his memory.

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