You might have heard a rumor recently or even read news reports online that the man behind the Ice Bucket challenge phenomenon has died. Well, the good news is that 32-year-old Pete Frates is still alive. The bad news is that he needs your help.
Frates was the captain of the baseball team at Boston College and a perfectly healthy young man until 2011, when he was hit on the wrist by a pitch. His hand became limp, and never recovered. Doctors originally thought he had a pinched nerve, but realized it was actually a symptom of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gherig's disease after the famous New York Yankees player).
But Frates didn't let his condition stop him from applying the same can-do spirit he showed on the baseball diamond to his treatment, or from fundraising for other patients. His mother Nancy says Pete saw his diagnosis as an "opportunity to change the world.”
“He said we’re not going to ask why, we’re going to get to work.”
And he did: Frates' signature fundraiser, the Ice Bucket Challenge, encouraged people to dunk a bucket of cold water over themselves or donate to an ALS research foundation.
The challenge has become a yearly tradition, and the $220 million raised worldwide has funded groundbreaking research that makes it possible to diagnose ALS patients sooner. Despite all the good he's done for other patients, Frates still needs some help himself.
Click to the next page to learn how Frates is doing today!