The story behind the person who inspired and created the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been revealed. The creator’s name is Pete Frates and he currently is battling ALS.
In the ESPN feature story, Frates, a former Boston College baseball star, is credited with creating the challenge with friend and fellow ALS patient Pat Quinn.
According to the ALS Association, in the two-week span (July 29 to Aug. 14) after the Ice Bucket Challenge began, almost 146,000 new donors have come on board, $7.6 million was donated to the ALS association, compared to $1.4 million during the same time in 2013.
After three weeks, $15.6 million was donated to the ALS Association, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Amazing what “sheer power” and “association” can do for a great cause.
“As a jock and locker-room guy, Pete lived by the code, ‘Go big or go home,'” said his father, John Frates. “But when the videos started jumping out of the immediate circle of family and friends, to pro athletes like the Bruins, Patriots and his high-profile BC classmates — Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Brian Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning — it started to get crazy. The sheer power of association and calling out three or more to accept the challenge, it was the perfect formula to go viral.”
“That’s just been my main focus since this started happening, to be a positive influence for other people who have the disease, be a positive influence for family and friends,” said Frates. “At the end of the day, I want to be the cliché game-changer. I want to be the guy who shifts everyone’s thinking and shifts where the funds are going. Selfishly, I want to give myself a chance but also give a lot of other people opportunity as well.”
“It’s been almost surreal to see the world stop, look up and take notice of ALS,” Dr. Fernando Vieira, director of research operations at ALSTDI, said. “It’s been a dream come true.”
Be sure to read the rest of the feature story here