Pete Frates, the founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge and a face of ALS advocacy, died on Monday at 34-years-old after battling the disease. The family released a statement on Boston College's website, Frates alma mater, confirming his death.
The family statement read:
"Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency.
A natural born leader and the ultimate teammate, Pete was a role model for all, especially young athletes, who looked up to him for his bravery and unwavering positive spirit in the face of adversity. He was a noble fighter who inspired us all to use our talents and strengths in the service of others."
Frates was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 27 in 2012. He then became a trailblazer and inspiration to many with his work towards a cure for the disease.
"Remarkably, Pete never complained about his illness," the family said in their statement. "Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to give hope to other patients and their families. In his lifetime, he was determined to change the trajectory of a disease that had no treatment or cure."
He aimed to make a difference in the world, and he did just that. The former BC baseball captain received national attention in 2014 when the Ice Bucket Challenge, which involved people pouring a bucket of ice water on their heads and challenging other people to do the same, went viral. The challenge helped raise money and awareness to the cause. It resulted in around 17 million people from around the globe donating a total of over $200 million towards ALS research, according to CBS Boston.
Significant discoveries were made, including the finding of a gene found in ALS patients, in the wake of the donations and increased funds.
Frates was always grateful for the unwavering support.
"I cannot thank all who have participated thus far enough. Your enthusiasm and creativity have propelled our little-known disease to the forefront of the global stage," he said in 2014.
Frates accomplishments over the years included recognition from Sports Illustrated as one of the "Inspirations of the Year," an NCAA Inspiration Award, the retiring of his No. 3 baseball jersey at Boston College, receiving a custom Red Sox World Series ring and many more.
Many people -- from New England and beyond -- took the time on Monday to comment on what Frates meant to them and the community.
You changed the world Pete. Im so very proud to have called you my friend. Heart hurts a lot today but ur name and legacy will live on forever. Rest easy my friend - we’ll continue to spread your word. Boston was so lucky to have you 😔🙏🏿 #BostonStrong #alsicebucketchallenge #rip pic.twitter.com/LxHtExXWZN— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) December 9, 2019
I lost my hero today. I love you, Pete.— Chris Shaw (@SHAWESOME24) December 9, 2019
Pete, you changed our city & our country for the better and made a difference in the lives of countless people. You helped us remember that we're all one family & we have to look out for one another. There's no telling how much good you've set in motion. RIP, my friend. #GoEagles https://t.co/aPjfqWQDvm— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) December 9, 2019
MLB released a statement from Commissioner Rob Manfred:
"The courage and determination of Pete Frates inspired countless people throughout the game he loved and around the world. All of us at Major League Baseball are proud that Pete and his family are members of the baseball family. We will forever remember Pete's example as we continue to support the pursuit of a cure for ALS."
A funeral mass for Frates is being held on Friday, Dec. 13 at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The family encourages anyone who would like to honor Pete to donate to the Peter Frates Family Foundation.