Peter Frates, the man who inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, has died. He was 34.
Frates was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as motor neurone disease (MND) or Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2012, and his family began the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness.
“Today Heaven received our angel: Peter Frates," his family said in a statement Monday. "A husband to Julie, a father to Lucy, a son to John and Nancy, a brother to Andrew and Jennifer, Pete passed away surrounded by his loving family, peacefully at age 34, after a heroic battle with ALS."
The challenge, which went viral in 2014, showed millions – including celebrities like Oprah and The Rock – having ice buckets poured on themselves, challenging someone else to do the same, and then donating to the initiative.
The effort helped raised more than $200 million for the disease internationally, according to reports.
Frates, a former Boston College baseball player, was also named Sports Illustrated's “Inspiration of the Year" in 2014.
“Pete never complained about his illness,” the family's statement continued. “Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to give hope to other patients and their families.”
A funeral is set for Frates this Friday.