The ALS Association announced the death of the “ALS hero and co-founder of the ice bucket challenge” Pat Quinn on Sunday, November 22. He was 37.
“We are deeply sorry to share that Pat Quinn passed away today. Pat was co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and an inspiration to millions of people around the world,” the association said in a statement.
Quinn was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — which affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, making it hard to walk, speak, eat, swallow and breathe — in March of 2013, a month after his 30th birthday.
After he was diagnosed, Quinn decided he wanted to make a difference in the ALS community. Then, in 2014, he saw the cool challenge of the late Anthony Senerchia, who was also battling ALS, on his social media feed.
With the help of their supporters, they “turned the challenge into the biggest social media phenomenon in history.”
According to the ALS Association, “the Ice Bucket Challenge went on to raise $115 million” and “over $220 million around the world for ALS research.”
The viral challenge also “dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS, leading to new research discoveries, expanded care for people living with ALS, and significant investment from the government in ALS research,” ALS Association added.
In 2015, the ALS Association honoured Pat, Pete, and Anthony as “ALS Heroes” at their annual Leadership Conference.
Sadly, Anthony passed away in 2017, while Pete passed away two years after.
“Pat fought ALS with positivity and bravery and inspired all around him. Those of us who knew him are devastated but grateful for all he did to advance the fight against ALS,” the association said.
—(Source: ALS Organization)