Athlete Peter Frates dies of ALS after becoming face of Ice Bucket Challenge

Athlete Peter Frates died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after becoming the face of the Ice Bucket Challenge to collect money for a cure, his family said in a statement

Frates, a college baseball athlete from suburban Massachusetts, died at 34 while surrounded by his family after a “heroic battle with ALS,” according to the statement released Monday. 

“Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency,” the statement reads.

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Frates helped make 2014’s Ice Bucket Challenge go viral. The challenge involved people around the world videotaping themselves pouring buckets of ice water on their heads, passing the challenge onto others and encouraging donations to ALS research.

“In August of 2014, the historic movement pioneered social media fundraising and garnered donations globally that resulted in better access to ALS care, genetic discoveries, treatments and, someday, a cure,” the family’s statement said. “He was a beacon of hope for all.”

The Frates family asked for donations to be made to the Peter Frates Family Foundation, which aims to help those suffering from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt Romney Meadows: Bolton manuscript leaked 'to manipulate' senators over witness vote Republicans show little enthusiasm for impeachment witness swap Collins expected to announce Georgia Senate bid MORE (R-Utah) tweeted to express his “heartfelt sorrow” over Frates’s death.

“Heartfelt sorrow with the death of Pete Frates, the young baseball star stricken with ALS who inspired the #IceBucketChallenge that raised millions for critical research,” Romney posted. “A legacy of courage, grace and nobility even as life dealt him tragedy.”