Showbiz

Ice Bucket Challenge pioneer dead at 34

by WENN December 10th, 2019, 4:51 am

WENN

The former college baseball star who became the brains behind the viral Ice Bucket Challenge craze in 2014 has succumbed to the disease for which his online initiative helped raise money.

Pete Frates, 34, has lost his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

He was first diagnosed at the age of 27.

“Today Heaven received our angel: Peter Frates,” a family statement reads. “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. Remarkably, Pete never complained about his illness. 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.”

The Ice Bucket Challenge led to celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Renee Zellweger, Chris Pratt, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates dumping ice on their heads and posting the footage on social media, challenging others to do the same, and donate to help find a cure for ALS.