Remembering Pete Frates, Co-Founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

With heavy hearts, The ALS Association joins the ALS community in celebrating the legacy and mourning the loss of Pete Frates, who died Monday at age 34 after a seven-year battle with ALS.  

Pete lived a Hall of Fame life. 

He was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 when he was just 27. A dogged teammate and inspirational leader, Pete challenged himself to become a leader in the fight for a cure for the disease and vowed to raise a billion dollars for ALS research. 

Two years after his diagnosis, Pete joined Pat Quinn and Anthony Senerchia, two other young men with ALS, in spearheading the movement that changed ALS forever. In 2014, more than 17 million people around the world took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It became the biggest online fundraising phenomenon in history. The Challenge raised more than $115 million for The ALS Association and over $200 million around the world for ALS research and brought unprecedented awareness of the disease. 

Pete, who married his beloved wife Julie soon after his diagnosis, took the Ice Bucket Challenge himself at Fenway Park on August 9, 2014. Two weeks later, his daughter Lucy was born. 

Team Frate Train have been tireless warriors and leaders in the fight against ALS. His groundbreaking advocacy and inspirational life are a walk off grand slam for ALS research and awareness. Pete’s mother, Nancy, served for a time on the Board of Trustees of The ALS Association and now serves on the Chairman’s Council. 

Since the Ice Bucket Challenge, five new genes connected to ALS have been discovered, high quality care for people living with the disease has improved, more new drugs to treat the disease are in clinical trial, and researchers are closer than they ever have been to finding treatments and a cure.

Pete was born December 28, 1984, in Beverly, Massachusetts. A star outfielder and captain of the baseball team at Boston College, Frates set a team record in 2007 by driving in eight RBIs in a single game, and he took great pride in having hit a home run in Fenway Park during his junior year. 

He created a beautiful family, inspired millions, and signed a lifetime contract with the Boston Red Sox. In 2016, Boston College retired Pete’s jersey number, and in 2017, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame created a permanent display that includes a glove Pete wore at Boston College and the sunglasses and bucket from his Ice Bucket Challenge video. 

He is survived by his wife, Julie; his daughter, Lucy Fitzgerald; his mother, Nancy; his father, John; his brother, Andrew; and his sister, Jennifer Mayo.

36 thoughts on “Remembering Pete Frates, Co-Founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”

  1. So, so sorry for your loss. I lost my honey to ALS too. We need to keep doing what Pete did to find a cure for this hideous disease. My condolences to the family. 😔

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  2. My heart breaks for this family. My husband was diagnosed in October 2013 and died March 6, 2014 only 4 1/2 months after diagnosis. Our son was only 25; my husband never received his retirement check or social security check. He fought as long as he could but was ready to go to heaven. I know what you went through and what others are going through. We still support ALS with fundraising. Our heart goes out to each of you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you now and the many days ahead. God Bless Each of You.

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  3. So sorry to hear that another beautiful soul has been lost to this horrid disease. My daughter was diagnosed the same year as Pete. I’m grateful that she’s still with me. My deepest condolences to all of Pete’s family and friends.

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  4. God bless you and thank you for your endurance throughout your battle. Thinking only of others and not yourself. God bless your wonderful family. 💕

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  5. Many prayers to you all as you
    move forward without Pete! What an inspiration for us all! His bravery, efforts and hope along with your never ending love, support and caregiving will forever be remembered and admired. Such an impact for the hope of finding a cure of this cruel and tragic disease! Thank you and God Bless!

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  6. Thank you Pete and your friends Anthony and Pat. You were an inspiration for those who suffered with this disease,ALS by raising more important funds for your disease for research.My sister had it,because of the money you all raised she was able to do a stem cell procedure at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.A two year study that helped the Doctors at Mayo with research for this disease. Pete,you made a big difference with this ice bucket challenge.You are flying high free of all pain now!!Love and Prayers for your wife and daughter.
    Susan Revier

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  7. To the Frates Family,
    Thank you So much for showing the world your grace and love during Pete’s disease. It was very evident how much he was loved and what wonderful gifts God gave him to share with the world . It was the hardest fight of his life but he was so fortunate to have such great support . I am a medical provider who has worked with many ALS patients and have always said that each and every patient is just amazing in their resilience and strength to keep fighting.
    Pete is definitely an angel in heaven and I just know he is running and jumping free to move and breathe in Gods Grace.
    Rest In Peace Pete, you slayed that dragon 🐉

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  8. What a remarkable man. He was dealt a devastating blow but stayed positive and accomplished so much in his well-lived life. He is a true hero who has left a wonderful legacy for his daughter. May his family take comfort knowing that his selfless efforts have made a difference in finding a cure for this awful disease.

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  9. Thank you so much for your tireless and selfless work to help find a cure for all of us living with ALS! You are our hero. God bless you and your family ❤️❤️

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  10. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of what sounds like a wonderful human being. He took this horrible disease and become empowered by making change and working towards a cure. ALS is such a horrible disease, I lost my mom 12 months after her diagnosis. I watched a vibrant, healthy and loving woman deteriorate so rapidly. I want to thank you Pete for making a difference and for being so unselfish. I will say a prayer that your family’s pain will heal and that you are up in heaven hitting a home run through the pearly gates. With love and admiration. ❤️

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  11. I am so very sorry to hear of his passing. I lost my Mother to this horrific disease months ago. God bless you during the holiday season and May you find peace any way possible.

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  12. Let’s keep FIGHTING!!!! My husband, Steve Studebaker, is Living with ALS. We both send our condolences on your loss of such a great person!!! The time is NOW to find the CAUSE and a CURE!!!

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  13. Keeping your memory alive in our hearts along with those dear to us who courageously loss their battle to ALS. Thank you for creating an increased awareness about this disease and essentially providing a vehicle for fundraising 200 million dollars for research! You live on along with so many in our hearts and memories.

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  14. Reading about Pete and his accomplishments is extremely inspiring. ALS is a devastating disease. I have known several people who battled or are still battling this awful situation. I pray that some medical scientist will one day soon find not only the cause but the cure for this monster. Thanks Pete for all you have done for others and may God bless you and your loving family.

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  15. I am very sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you. I lost my brother several years ago to ALS. I think about it every day it seems. I will be praying for you and your family.

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  16. You are an inspiration to so many. I hope & pray that a cure will be found. When I was in my 20s I lost my Mom to ALS. It really hit deep when my sister many years later died of ALS too; Familiar ALS. If a cure isnt found it will most likely take our whole family. Because of acts like yours there is hope for many. God bless your family.

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  17. sorry for us losing him. He had a great battle. And I applaud him for fighting ALS. God bless him and his family and for all those who helped him in this fight for this disease

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  18. I am so so sorry to hear this. I lost my brother to this horrible disease in July. Thank you for all you have done. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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