Pete Frates, who along with Patrick Quinn, made the Ice Bucket Challenge a worldwide viral phenomenon, has sadly lost his own battle with ALS. The Ice Bucket Challenge is estimated to have raised between $160 million and $200 million for ALS research. In 2016, a worldwide gene sequencing effort funded by Challenge donations made to the ALS Association, led to the discovery of a new ALS gene. While Frates tragically died before ALS could be eradicated, when a cure is found, there is no doubt that his efforts will have played a major role. The following quote is from a 2014 column he wrote for the Bleacher Report:
My dream is for this article to be found by someone in a Google search one day—much like the one that linked my symptoms to ALS—and for he or she to wonder how anyone ever could have died from something treated so easily. I want the 100th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s speech to be a celebration of a courageous man who became the poster boy for a disease with a cure, not a cruel reminder of how nothing has changed in a century.