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Pat Quinn, co-founder of ALS ice bucket challenge, dies at age 37

The challenge raised around USD 200 million for research on Lou Gehrig’s disease

pat-quinn-als-association-via-ap [File] Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2013 | The ALS Association via AP

A co-founder of the social media ALS ice bucket challenge, Pat Quinn, has died at age 37. The ice bucket challenge raised around USD 200 million for research on Lou Gehrig’s disease according to the ALS association.

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013, a month after his 30th birthday, an AP report reads.

“Pat fought ALS with positivity and bravery and inspired all around him,” the association said. “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 ALS Association said.

The ALS ice bucket challenge had become a social media campaign of sorts, raising awareness about Lou Gehrig’s disease. Several celebrities and politicians, including Donald Trump before he became president, and cartoon character Home Simpson took part in the ALS ice bucket challenge. Even Indian celebrities like Sania Mirza, Abhishek Bachchan, Sidharth Malhotra and Akshay Kumar took part in the challenge.

Quinn helped popularise the challenge after he saw a video of professional golfer Chris Kennedy, challenging his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia to dump a bucket of ice water over her head, post a video on social media and ask others to do the same or to make a donation to charity. Senerchia’s husband had ALS.

Former Boston College basketball player Peter Frats teamed up with Quinn to popularise the challenge. Frats died of the disease in December 2019 at age 34. As of now, there is no known cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

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