US man who inspires 'Ice Bucket Challenge' passes away at 34
Washington : A former US basketball player who had inspired the famous 'ice bucket challenge', which became famous across the globe, to tackle a deadly neurodegenerative disease has passed away at an early age of 34, said the family.
A one-time college athlete from the Boston area, Pete Frates' struggle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, was one of the inspirations behind the ice bucket challenge which took social media by storm in 2014.
Thousands of people on social media became part of it as they were seen pouring a bucket full of ice on them. In the challenge, people were asked to perform the stunt and then dare three friends to do the same.
The challenge was extended to several prominent celebrities too from both the entertainment world and the sports.
The whole campaign had reportedly raised a donation of $200 million to fund research into ALS, whose sufferers' bodies slowly shut down as their nervous systems degenerate.
The condition, officially known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is more commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease after another baseball player who died of it in 1941.
"Pete passed away surrounded by his loving family, peacefully at age 34, after a heroic battle with ALS," his family said in a statement.
"Remarkably, Pete never complained about his illness. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to give hope to other patients and their families, the statement said.