The Internet Says Goodbye To The Co-Founder Of The Viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

A few years ago, there was a challenge that went viral everywhere on social media; Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Keek, etc.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was an activity involving the dumping of a bucket of ice water over a person’s head, either by another person or self-administered, to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease) and encourage donations to research.

The co-founder of the social media ALS ice bucket challenge, Pat Quinn, which has raised more than US$200mil (RM818.10mil) worldwide for Lou Gehrig’s disease research, passed away Sunday at the age of 37, according to the ALS Association.

Quinn was diagnosed with ALS in 2013, a month after his 30th birthday, the organisation said in a statement announcing his death.

“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…. Our thoughts are with the Quinn family and all of his friends and supporters. Pat was loved by many of us within the ALS community and around the world,” the association said.

Quinn saw the ice bucket challenge on the social media feed of professional golfer Chris Kennedy in 2014, who first dared to take a bucket of ice water from his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, dump it over her head, post a video on social media and ask others to do the same or make a charity donation. Senerchia’s husband, had ALS.

Quinn and co-founder Pete Frates helped to popularise the challenge, along with their supportive teams. The ALS Association said that Quinn “knew it was the key to raising awareness of ALS,” calling it “history’s greatest social media campaign.” Frates, a former baseball player from Boston College, died at the age of 34 in December 2019.

The organisation added that Quinn continued to raise awareness and funds after popularising the challenge. In 2015, the association honoured him, among others, as “ALS Heroes” – an award given to people living with the disease who have had a significant positive impact on the fight against it.

On the 5th anniversary of the challenge, Quinn, who was from Yonkers, New York, addressed a crowd in Boston.

“Nobody knew the Ice Bucket Challenge would become a worldwide phenomenon, but we united as one because that is what it takes to change a disease like ALS.

There are warriors all over the world unwilling to accept it as a death sentence…. We will never stop fighting together,” he said. “There are warriors all over the world unwilling to accept it as a death sentence…. We will never stop fighting together.

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