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Patrick Quinn, the co-founder of the viral Ice Bucket Challenge, has passed on, age 37

The ALS Foundation has reported that Patrick Quinn, the co-founder of the viral Ice Bucket Challenge, has passed on, age 37, this Sunday, 22nd of November, 2020. This incident has added to the list of all loved ones and public figures that transitioned this decade.

Kate Warren for The Washington Post / Getty Images file

You remember how that in 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media with the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and over 15 million people participating in the Challenge. YouTube video views of the Challenge surpassed 1 billion, with YouTube labeling the meme “bigger than Harlem Shake.”

While many people might have thought that the Challenge was just an ordinary activity made just for its fun, in a real sense, it was staged to raise global awareness for ALS, a disease that affects the brain cells and spinal cord.

BOSTON MA. – JULY 15: Pat Quinn, co-founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge, on stage during an event to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the challenge on July 15, 2019 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) (Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Pat, who has privately battled with Lou Gehrig’s disease, was born and grew up in Yonkers, New York. He has the credit as one who boosted the most effective social media campaign ever in history. The campaign raised more than $220 million for medical research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease or the motor neuron disease.

In 2014, the Challenge went viral, with more than 17 million people participating. They poured ice-cold water over their heads, then challenged a friend to either do the same or donate to the ALS Association. In the US, it is on record that 2.5 million people donated $115 million to the Association in what they described at the time as “probably the single largest episode of giving outside of a disaster or emergency.”
The Association on Sunday took to their Twitter handle to state: “The Ice Bucket Challenge dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS, leading to new research discoveries, expansion of care for those with ALS, and greater investment by the government in ALS research.”

“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,” the ALS Foundation said during a press release.
Following the incident, condolences to the Quinn family have poured in on social media, with many people expressing gratitude for the spotlight and popularity he brought to the disease and the need to find a cure.

Having been diagnosed with the disease seven years ago, Quinn created the “Quinn for the Win” group. He established the group of supporters to raise awareness and funds for the fight against ALS. On Sunday, they took to their Facebook page, posting that Quinn “was a blessing to us all in so many ways. We will always remember him for his inspiration and courage in his tireless fight against ALS.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 12,000 to 15,000 Americans may have ALS. While some cases are estimated to be hereditary, the cause for the disease and cure is yet to be found.

Among Quinn’s many honors for raising awareness about ALS and promoting research was a nomination with fellow ALS activist and Ice Bucket Challenge co-founder Peter Frates as Time Magazine Person of The Year. Frates had died last year, age 34, seven years after being diagnosed with the disease.

The ALS disease is named after Lou Gehrig, the famous baseball player who retired in 1939 because of the condition. Some other notable people who had it were NBA Hall of Fame George Yardley and Jazz artist Charles Mingus.

“Pat was loved by many of us within the ALS community and around the world. He will be missed, but he will continue to inspire us until we have a world without ALS.”—ALS Association.

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