BOSTON, MA—Pete Frates, the man behind the ice bucket challenge, died at the age of 34 on Monday, December 9.
Frates, an ALS advocate who was diagnosed with the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in March 2012 at the age of 27. Frates was a former baseball captain at Boston College. He founded the ice bucket challenge which took place five years ago and raised over $200 million for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
The challenge saw one person dumping a bucket of ice on another and then posting it on social media in order to challenge someone else to do it. The ice bucket challenge brought awareness to the disease by comparing the cold pain one feels with ice poured on their body to that of what the disease is said to feel like.
In a statement released to Frates alma mater, Boston College, his family remembered Frates and asked people to donate to his foundation if they wished to express any sympathy.
“On behalf of Julie, Lucy, John, Nancy, Jennifer and Andrew, along with his extended family and multitude of friends, 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.
As we prepare to lay Pete to rest, we ask that you respect our privacy while we mourn his loss. For those who would like to extend an expression of sympathy, please consider making a donation to the Peter Frates Family Foundation, 21 Landers Drive, Beverly, MA 01915 or online at petefrates.com/donate. Pete’s foundation’s mission is to aid progressed ALS patients in their desire to stay at home with those who love them most.”
Frates passing comes on the first day of the Winter Meetings, where the Major League Baseball organization launched its annual charity auction where all the proceeds this year are going to ALS charities and nonprofit organizations.
Frates is survived by his wife, Julie, and five-year-old daughter, Lucy, as well his parents, John and Nancy, and siblings, Andrew and Jenifer.