“ALS Hero” is a series focusing on highlighting notable PALS who have made an impact on their communities and the world at large.
In college Pete Frates was an all star athlete, becoming the captain of Boston College’s baseball team and hitting a monster home run in Fenway Park in his final year. A few years later, on March 13th 2012, Pete was diagnosed with ALS.
Almost immediately after hearing the diagnosis Pete took the news as a challenge, asking his doctor “how much money do you need to cure this thing?”. After hearing “one billion dollars” Pete’s immediate response was- “I will get you a billion dollars.”
While Pete didn’t quite get his billion, he did raise a staggering $220 million for ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge he kicked off in 2014.
After watching his friends do silly challenges on social media, he came up with a simple idea- dumping ice water on yourself and encouraging friends to do the same to raise money for ALS. Although ALS was a relatively unknown disease, Pete had quite the network of friends- including athletes with large social media followings. Soon the challenge spread like wildfire. In the weeks and months after, celebrities like Lebron James, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates joined in- all to raise awareness for ALS.
It’s been nearly 7 years since Pete’s diagnosis, and in the years since he’s continued to champion for those with ALS, including raising money to start a fund to help with costly caregiver fees. He’ll also be the subject of an upcoming Casey Affleck-produced Netflix film detailing his life and the challenge he created that changed the lives of many.
Thank you Pete for everything you’ve done to progress ALS research and bring us closer to a cure! You are truly an #ALShero.