Man who inspired ice bucket challenge dispels death reports

Peter Frates posted a video of himself in a hospital bed while Pearl Jam’s Alive played in the background

News Desk July 04, 2017
Pete Frates, with his wife Julie and two-year-old daughter Lucy, receives the 2017 NCAA inspiration award at their home in Beverly, Massachusetts on 13 December 2016. PHOTO: AP

Peter Frates, the man who helped raise over $100 million to combat the neurodegenerative disease ALS by encouraging millions of people to pour icy buckets of water over their heads, is still alive despite reports of his death, The Guardian reported.

The 32-year-old posted a 45-second video of himself on Twitter in a hospital bed while listening to Pearl Jam’s popular song ‘Alive’ on Monday. He wrote, “In the words of my Ed”, a reference to Pearl Jam’s singer Eddie Vedder.

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Frates was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS, and identified in Britian as the motor neurone disease. There is currently no concrete cure to the disease, and the ALS ice bucket challenge was to raise money to fund research into a probable cure.

Many celebrities participated in the challenge after it went viral three years ago. Celebrities, including Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Tom Cruise, and Shakira, participated in the cchallenge and raised more than $115 million for ALS research.

Frates’s family said in a Facebook post on Sunday that he had returned to the hospital for treatment of the disease. Multiple newspapers announced Frates died the following day. The false reports emerged after veteran Boston Globe columnist Mike Barnicle tweeted that a family friend told him Frates was dead. He later deleted the tweet and posted a correction. “Family friend of Peter Frates told me had passed at 32,” Barnicle said. “He was wrong and I was doubly wrong to tweet it. Thank God I was wrong.”

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Hours after the false stories were published; Frates’ family said he was “resting comfortably”. The ice bucket challenge continues each year in August, though it is not as popular as it was in 2014. Funds raised through the challenge were directed towards a number of research projects, including Project MinE, which last year discovered a new gene associated with the disease because of funds raised through the challenge.

This article originally appeared on The Guardian.


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