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Patrick Quinn: Ice Bucket Challenge Activist Dies Aged 37

November 23, 2020

Patrick Quinn, one of the men who helped drive the wildly popular Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising campaign, has died aged 37.

Quinn, a New Yorker, was diagnosed with the incurable neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2013.

He died on Sunday morning, his supporters wrote on his official Facebook page. “He was a blessing to us all in so many ways,” they said.

The viral campaign has raised $220m (£163m) for ALS research.

The Ice Bucket Challenge did not begin with Quinn, but he and his family and friends helped it become a global social media phenomenon in the summer of 2014. captionFormer US President George W Bush was among those to take the challenge

To complete the challenge, people would dump a bucket of ice water over their heads and post the video to social media, challenging others to do the same or make a donation to ALS research. Often, people did both.

The challenge drew high-profile participants like former President George W Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and President Donald Trump.

Last year, Pete Frates – the former college baseball star who was another key figure in the campaign – died aged 34.

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

  • Rare condition where parts of the nervous system become damaged, causing progressive weakness, usually with muscle wasting
  • Known as motor neurone disease (MND) in the UK
  • In the US it is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous baseball player who was thought to have died from the disease
  • Occurs when specialist nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord called motor neurones stop working properly; as the condition progresses, sufferers find basic activities such as walking, speaking, swallowing and breathing increasingly difficult to do
  • Life expectancy for about half of those with ALS is three to four years from start of diagnosis, but some can live 10 years or longer – Prof Stephen Hawking had ALS for 55 years
  • Source: NHS Choices

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