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.