June 14, 2017

Ice Bucket Challenge Week would mark Frates’ impact on ALS research

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Sam Doran / State House News Service

Pete Frates took part in an Ice Bucket Challenge on the front steps of the State House in 2015 with Gov. Charlie Baker and other state officials.

BOSTON — The first week in August would be set aside to recognize the impacts of the Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral fundraising campaign that started in Massachusetts but spread across the globe, under a bill lawmakers considered earlier this week.

The Ice Bucket Challenge — a fundraiser in which someone empties a bucket of ice water on their head and then challenges others to do the same — began in 2014 after former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Led by Frates and his family, what began as a trickle evolved into a global deluge by summer 2015 when videos of people dumping ice water over themselves and information about ALS was ubiquitous on social and traditional media.

Before the Ice Bucket Challenge raised awareness of ALS “the state of the disease had been stagnant for 150 years,” Nancy Frates, Pete’s mother, said Monday. But the campaign has raised more than $250 million for ALS research and has hastened the development of a treatment, she said.

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