Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Robert Downey Jr. has done it, Helene Fischer too: they participated in the "Ice Bucket Challenge" and made sure that the nerve disease was known as ALS. A co-founder of the test of courage has now died – at the age of 34.
The "Ice Bucket Challenge" became known worldwide as an internet phenomenon in 2014 – and now one of its first supporters is dead. Former college baseball player Pete Frates died "after a heroic battle" against ALS, his family said. He was 34 years old.
Frates was one of those ALS sufferers who embraced the idea of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" very early on in order to raise awareness of the disease and to raise money. Countless people around the world participated in the campaign, including many celebrities. Singer Helene Fischer was showered in the bra from the icy water, actor Robert Downey Jr. was in the hot tub and Microsoft founder Bill Gates wore a blue shirt.
The principle of the Internet hit was that the videos of the showers were posted on the Internet. The wet participants then nominated other people in the videos to do the same. Millions of people worldwide came together in the fight against ALS.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) leads to destroyed nerves and progressive muscle paralysis. The affected person can not move during the course of the disease. They have difficulty swallowing, speaking and breathing, but usually remain mentally fit. The disease often occurs around the age of 50, about half of the patients die within the first three years.