Co-founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Patrick Quinn, is dead. He died at the age of 37 years on Sunday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Quinn lost a 7-year battle to the disease after he was diagnosed in 2013.
Quinn and Peter Frates established the Ice Bucket Challenge back in 2014 and succeeded in raising over $250 million for scientific research into the illness. Frates died of the illness in September 2019 at the age of 34; he had been diagnosed with the condition at the age of 27 in 2012.
A native of Yonkers, Quinn also founded the Quinn for the Win Foundation. He gave motivational talks in schools and major events in New York City and around the country. With the Ice Bucket Challenge, people poured a bucket of ice over their bodies and record a video of the stunt. Former President George W. Bush and Bill Gates among other top celebrities have taken part in the challenge and more than 20 million videos of the stunt from different people have been posted online.
“It is with great sadness that we must share the passing of Patrick early this morning. He 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,” a post on the Quinn for the Win Facebook page read Sunday.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano expressed pains at the demise of Quinn, saying he was someone who fought to make life better for other people with his condition.
“I am so saddened to learn Yonkers lost its fighter, champion, and warrior, Pat Quinn,” Yonkers Mayor Spano stated. “Pat, who was an honorary Yonkers Police Officer, graciously accepted his life’s challenges and paid it forward — a lesson we will never forget. During this season of Thanksgiving, we are forever grateful for Pat’s courage, compassion, and leadership.”
Very recently, Quinn paid a courtesy visit to Iowa College, his alma mater, for another ice bucket challenge and even went to a Quinn for the Win golf competition before he lost the battle to the illness.
“It dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS, leading to new research discoveries, expanded care for people living with ALS, and significant investment from the government in ALS research,” the ALS Association said. “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.”