U.S. champion Pete Frates, who sparked the “ice bucket challenge”, died at 34

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U.S. champion Pete Frates, who sparked the

U.S. champion Pete Frates, who sparked the “ice bucket challenge”, died at 34

An Ex-US college baseball player who helped shape the new phenomenon known as the “ice bucket challenge” to tackle lethal neurological disease died at the age of 34, his family replied Monday.

A retired Boston college player, Pete Frates ‘ battle with ALS, commonly identified as Lou Gehrig’s disease, was one of the inspirations behind the ice bucket challenge which rocked social networking sites in 2014.

Hundreds of thousands took up the challenge of using an ice-cold water bucket and posting a video online before donating the money for medical research and challenging others to do the same.

The competition was witnessed by a variety of actors, high-profile figures and entire sports squads, including Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, and even current US President George W. Bush.

The initiative is estimated to have earned more than $200 million to fund studies into ALS, the patient’s bodies gradually shut down while their nervous systems devolve.

The disorder, formally known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease after another baseball guy who died of it in 1941.

“Pete died surrounded by his loving family, peacefully at the age of 34, after a heroic battle with ALS,” his family said during a remark.

“It is amazing that Pete rarely thought about his disease. Rather, he saw it as an opportunity to give encouragement to other people and their families, he added.

Frates ‘ friend Corey Griffin, a 27-year-old philanthropist who was responsible for helping the fund-raising campaign go viral, died in a swimming accident shortly once the online phenomenon began.