Man who inspired 'ice bucket challenge' dead at 34

Pete Frates helped inspire challenge to tackle ALS which raised more than $200 million.

Tags: ALS Death
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ice bucket challenge
Ice bucket challenge

Pete Frates, a former US college baseball player who helped inspire the global phenomenon known as the "ice bucket challenge" to tackle the deadly neurodegenerative disease ALS died at the age of 34, his family said Monday, according to AFP.

Frates' struggle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, was one of the inspirations behind the ice bucket challenge which took social media by storm in 2014.

Millions took up the challenge, which involved dousing themselves with a bucket of ice cold water and posting the video online, before making a donation to medical research and daring others to do the same.

Many celebrities, high-profile personalities and sports teams took part in the challenge. These include Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates and even former US president George W. Bush.

Israeli celebrities took the challenge as well. Below, Israeli singer Eyal Golan is seen taking the challenge.

The campaign has reportedly raised more than $200 million to fund research into ALS, whose sufferers' bodies slowly shut down as their nervous systems degenerate.

The condition, officially known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is more commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease after the baseball player who died of it in 1941.

"Pete passed away surrounded by his loving family, peacefully at age 34, after a heroic battle with ALS," his family said in a statement.

"Remarkably, Pete never complained about his illness. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to give hope to other patients and their families, the statement said.