Patrick Quinn, co-founder of the social media ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, died on Sunday, November 22, at the age of 37, according to the ALS Association. This challenge has raised more than $200 million worldwide for ALS research.
Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 2013, a month after her 30th birthday, the organization said in a statement announcing his death. “Pat fought positively and bravely against the ALS and was inspired by it,” the association said. “All of us who know him are devastated, but thank you for everything he did to advance the fight against ALS. … Our thoughts are the Quinn family and all of his friends and supporters. Pat has been loved by a lot of us within ALS. Community and all over the world. “
In 2014, Quinn saw the Ice Bucket Challenge on social media feed of pro golfer Chris Kennedy. For the first time, he took a bucket of ice to his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, dumped it over his head, posted a video on social media and asked questions. Others do the same or donate to charities. Senerchia’s husband has ALS.
Quinn and co-founder Pete Frates worked with a team of supporters to help popularize this challenge. The ALS Association called Quinn “the greatest social media campaign in history,” and said “we knew it was key to raising ALS awareness.”
Former Boston College baseball player, Fret passed away in December 2019 at the age of 34. The phenomenon exploded when the two picked it up, the organization said.
Thousands of people have joined the viral trend, including celebrities, sports stars and politicians. Even Donald Trump before the election and the cartoon character Homer Simpson. Online videos have been viewed millions of times.
“This has dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS, leading to new research findings, expanding treatment for ALS patients, and significant government investment in ALS research,” the organization’s statement said.
Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the New York Yankees the Great, is also known as ALS or motor neuron disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cure.
The organization added that after Quinn popularized the challenge, it continued to raise awareness and funding. In 2015, the association awarded him the “ALS Heroes” award, which is awarded to people suffering from diseases that have had a significant positive effect on fighting him.
On the fifth anniversary of the challenge, Quinn, from Yonkers in New York, spoke to the crowd in Boston. “No one knew the Ice Bucket Challenge would be a global phenomenon, but we came together because that’s what it takes to change a disease like ALS.”
“There are warriors around the world who do not want to accept it as a death sentence. We will never stop fighting together. I will not leave this planet until after I have been diagnosed with ALS and know that a person has plans to live with this disease. It doesn’t kill itself.