Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball star whose battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis inspired the viral Ice Bucket Challenge and raised millions for ALS research, died Monday at age 34.
“Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency,” his family wrote in a statement, released by Boston College.
Following his diagnosis, Frates said he was going to fight the disease with everything he had.
“It’s my life’s work. It’s what I believe the big man upstairs has put me here to do,” he said. The Ice Bucket Challenge helped raise over $115 million for ALS research. “Pete never complained about his illness,” his family added. “Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to give hope to other patients and their families.”
Frates did not invent the Ice Bucket Challenge, but he helped it gain national attention. The idea originated with another ALS patient, Patrick Quinn, whom Frates met online and later befriended.