According to a statement on his website, Frates died following a “heroic battle” with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- the disease that he helped create the ice bucket challenge to fundraise for in 2014.
“Today Heaven received our angel: Peter Frates,” the statement read. “A husband to Julie, a father to Lucy, a son to John and Nancy, a brother to Andrew and Jennifer, Pete passed away surrounded by his loving family, peacefully at age 34, after a heroic battle with ALS.”
The announcement then noted how much of an inspiration the former college baseball player had been, particularly in the sporting world, and how he used his illness to help others.
“Remarkably, Pete never complained about his illness,” the statement said. “Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to give hope to other patients and their families. In his lifetime, he was determined to change the trajectory of a disease that had no treatment or cure.”
“As a result, through his determination—along with his faithful supporters, Team Frate Train—he championed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” the statement continued. “In August of 2014, the historic movement pioneered social media fundraising and garnered donations globally that resulted in better access to ALS care, genetic discoveries, treatments and, someday, a cure. He was a beacon of hope for all.”
The ice bucket challenge became a celebrity craze in 2014, when stars including Hugh Jackman and Kim Kardashian had buckets of ice poured onto their heads, then challenged others to do the same or make a donation to help find a cure for ALS.