Ice bucket challenge inspiration Pete Frates dies at 34

National

(AP/KRON) — A former college baseball player whose battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped inspire the ice bucket challenge has died.

Pete Frates was 34.

Frates’ family says he died Monday.

The ice bucket challenge has raised more than $200 million worldwide for research into ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Participants would challenge others to share videos of themselves dumping a bucket of icy water over their own heads to raise awareness.

The fundraiser began in 2014 when pro golfer Chris Kennedy challenged his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband has ALS.

The president and CEO of the Golden State chapter of the ALS Association, Fred Fisher, joined KRON4 Monday night to speak about Frates’ legacy

“Pete was an extraordinary guy,” Fisher said. “He was one of the original three young men all under 30 diagnosed with ALS who decided to make an extraordinary difference in the life of everyone living with ALS at that time and who would be diagnosed after the ice bucket challenge.”

Fisher says ALS is a neurodegenerative disease — which takes away people’s ability to move, speak, swallow and eventually breath in a matter of years.

“Most people don’t see it coming,” Fisher said.

>> Watch the full interview above.

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