32-year-old Peter Frates continues to battle ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital
Peter Frates was diagnosed with the debilitating disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) five years ago. He is currently on a ventilator and unable to speak.
In 2014, Frates created the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS. The challenge was either to dump a bucket of ice over your head, or donate to ALS, or do both.
Videos were posted all over social media of people taking the challenge, and the campaign (and ALS) was brought to national and international stardom.
A statement issued on Frates’ official Facebook page, Team Frate Train, read: “Pete’s family wants everyone to know that Pete is resting comfortably at MGH (Massachusetts General Hospital) as the Doctors, medicine, prayers and love continue to help him get stronger. Thank you for all your concern”.
Associations researching the disease credits the Ice Bucket Challenge for raising awareness
ALS is also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease” after the famous baseball player who was eventually killed by the disease, and does not currently have a cure or known cause. Drugs can ease the symptoms of ALS, but treat only the symptoms and not the root cause.
The ALS Association credits the movement founded by Frate for raising over $200 million to help support research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School that resulted in the discovery of a high-ranking gene in the most common genetic factors associated with ALS.
Individuals afflicted with ALS breaks down nerve cells and impairs basic functions over time, commonly dying of respiratory failure.
Prior to his diagnosis, Frates was a baseball player at Boston College and eventually took on the role of baseball coach in Germany. Frates and his family, wife Julie and daughter Lucy, continue to take an active role in funding and raising awareness for ALS research.