Health and Science

Pete Frates, inspiration for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies at 34

Doha Madani
Julie Frates holds her husband Pete Frates at a fund raiser celebrating ALS Awareness Month in Boston on Aug. 29, 2016. Pete Frates is credited with creating the ice bucket challenge to raise money for ALS research.
Keith Bedford | Boston Globe | Getty Images

Pete Frates, the man who inspired and championed a social media challenge to raise awareness to ALS, has died of the neurodegenerative disease at the age of 34.

Frates' family confirmed the news of his death Monday in a statement that reflected on his courage and resiliency in the face of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

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"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," the statement said. "He was a noble fighter who inspired us all to use our talents and strengths in the service of others."

Frates was a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. He helped create a viral social media sensation, the Ice Bucket Challenge, that raised both awareness and funds for the disease.

The ALS Association raised more than $200 million worldwide as people shared videos of themselves getting buckets of ice water poured on themselves. People who participating then challenged friends to do the same, along with asking for a donation to the ALS Association.

Frates is survived by his wife, Julie, and young daughter Lucy.