Five years ago, the fight to find a cure for ALS reached new heights through the Ice Bucket Challenge and continues today. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has long been associated with baseball since New York Yankees’ Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig was diagnosed in 1939. The disease has hit home at Boston College too often and the BC baseball team’s mission to combat the disease began with the diagnosis of former captain Pete Frates (’07), who was diagnosed in 2012 at the age of 27.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was started in the summer of 2014 and began to go viral through the effort of its participants to shine a light on various charities. Frates, Anthony Senerchia Jr. of Pelham, N.Y. and Pat Quinn of Yonkers, N.Y., all ALS patients, brought the campaign into the ALS world and put into motion the most impactful fundraising effort in the 145 years since ALS was discovered.
In 2014 alone, $115 million was raised by the ALS Association, through the Ice Bucket Challenge, for research. In less than two years, the money raised in 2014 helped scientists discover a new gene tied to ALS.
The initial Ice Bucket Challenge captured the attention of the country and spread overseas. That momentum is responsible for new developments in research toward finding a cure, but the fight is not over. The ALS Association is committed to continuing advanced research through fundraising and keeping the Ice Bucket Challenge as an annual tradition; “Every August Until A Cure”.