BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Local officials, ALS patients, and supporters gathered in Copley Square Monday to mark the five-year anniversary of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The viral internet phenomenon helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fight ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, since 2014, bringing researchers closer to a cure.
Dozens of adults and children picked up their bright red buckets and doused themselves with ice water to mark the anniversary.
The challenge's co-founders, Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, attended, as well as Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.
Speaking through a voice simulator, Quinn addressed the crowd, winning them over with courage, inspiration, and humor. Quinn said that, when the Ice Bucket Challenge began, he could still walk, talk, eat, and breathe on his own—but despite all his challenges, he says he wouldn't trade his life for anything.
"I plan on continuing to inspire the world to find their smile," Quinn said. "Life is too amazing for me to let this disease get in the way."
He thanked everyone who participated in the challenge and continues to support the battle against the disease, and urged them to keep the challenge going.
"ALS is horrific, but there are warriors all over the world unwilling to accept it as a death sentence," he said. "Today, I'm here to let those patients and their families know we will never stop fighting for them. We will never stop fighting together. I will not leave this earth until I know that the next person diagnosed with ALS has a real plan to live with this disease, not just die from it."
Photo: Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports