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ALS ice bucket viral challenge founder Pat Quinn dies at 37

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Quinn helped encourage participation within the social media problem, which has raised greater than $200 million worldwide for Lou Gehrig’s illness analysis.

YONKERS, N.Y. — A co-founder of the social media ALS ice bucket problem, which has raised greater than $200 million worldwide for Lou Gehrig’s illness analysis, died Sunday on the age of 37, in accordance with the ALS Affiliation.

Pat Quinn was recognized with Lou Gehrig’s illness, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013, a month after his 30th birthday, the group mentioned in a press release saying his loss of life.

“Pat fought ALS with positivity and bravado and impressed throughout him,” the affiliation mentioned. “These of us who knew him are devastated however grateful for all he did to advance the battle towards ALS. … Our ideas are with the Quinn household and all of his buddies and supporters. Pat was liked by many people inside the ALS neighborhood and world wide.”

In 2014, Quinn noticed the ice bucket problem on the social media feed {of professional} golfer Chris Kennedy, who first dared his spouse’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia to take a bucket of ice water, dump it over her head, submit a video on social media and ask others to do the identical or to make a donation to charity. Senerchia’s husband had ALS.

Quinn and co-founder Pete Frates, together with their groups of supporters, helped popularize the problem. The ALS Affiliation mentioned Quinn “knew it was the important thing to elevating ALS consciousness,” calling it “the best social media marketing campaign in historical past.” Frates, a former Boston Faculty baseball participant, died in December 2019 on the age of 34.

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When the 2 picked it up, the phenomenon exploded, the group mentioned. Hundreds of individuals participated within the viral development, together with celebrities, sports activities stars and politicians — even Donald Trump earlier than his election and cartoon character Homer Simpson. On-line movies had been considered thousands and thousands of instances.

“It dramatically accelerated the battle towards ALS, resulting in new analysis discoveries, expanded look after folks dwelling with ALS, and vital funding from the federal government in ALS analysis,” the group’s assertion mentioned.

Lou Gehrig’s illness, named after the New York Yankees nice who suffered from it — is also called ALS or motor neuron illness. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative illness that results in paralysis as a result of loss of life of motor neurons within the spinal twine and mind. There isn’t any recognized remedy.

The group added that Quinn continued to lift consciousness and funds after popularizing the problem. In 2015, the affiliation honored him, amongst others, as “ALS Heroes” — an award given to folks dwelling with the illness who’ve had a big optimistic affect on the battle towards it.

On the fifth anniversary of the problem, Quinn, who was from Yonkers, New York, addressed a crowd in Boston.

“No person knew the Ice Bucket Problem would turn out to be a worldwide phenomenon, however we united as one as a result of that’s what it takes to alter a illness like ALS,” he mentioned. “There are warriors everywhere in the world unwilling to just accept it as a loss of life sentence. … We’ll by no means cease combating collectively. I cannot depart this Earth till I do know the following particular person recognized with ALS has an actual plan to reside with this illness, not simply die from it.

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