Pete Frates, pictured at Fenway Park in 2016. (Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Boston College Baseball star who went on to inspire the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, raising hundreds of millions for research into the disease, has died.
The Frates family confirmed the news of his death in a statement Monday afternoon.
"Today Heaven received our angel: Peter Frates," the statement read. "A husband to Julie, a father to Lucy, a son to John and Nancy, a brother to Andrew and Jennifer, Pete passed away surrounded by his loving family, peacefully at age 34, after a heroic battle with ALS."
His funeral mass will be held at St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish at 11 a.m. Friday. The family said a celebration of Frates' life will be held somewhere on the North Shore at a later date.
Frates was diagnosed with ALS in March 2012 at age 27, shortly after being appointed director of baseball operations for Boston College Baseball. He had graduated from BC in 2007.
"Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency," the family statement read. "A natural born leader and the ultimate teammate, Pete was a role model for all, especially young athletes, who looked up to him for his bravery and unwavering positive spirit in the face of adversity."
Along with his supporters, dubbed Team Frate Train, Frates helped pioneer the Ice Bucket Challenge into a viral hit in Summer 2014, ultimately raising over $200 million in the fight against ALS.
In the years that followed, Frates worked to raise awareness of the disease. In 2014, after the Ice Bucket Challenge went worldwide, he was named New Englander of the Year by the New England Council, was nominated along with fellow ALS advocate Pat Quinn for Time Magazine's Person of the Year, and was a co-recipient of Sports Illustrated's Inspiration of the Year honor.
Following news of Frates' death, Boston College extended their condolences and called Frates "a role model for all BC students and a beloved figure on our campus."
"Pete Frates possessed the characteristics we hold dear as a university—courage, integrity, selflessness, and a commitment to helping others," the college wrote. "He accepted his illness and devoted the remaining years of his life to raising awareness of ALS and helping to raise money for a cure."
TD Garden announced that the Garden will glow red Monday night "in honor of Pete and his fight against ALS."
Tributes from sports teams, local leaders, and more were pouring in for the beloved athlete and advocate.
The Frates family asked for privacy, but said anyone wishing to support them could donate to the Peter Frates Foundation, 21 Landers Drive, Beverly, Massachusetts 01915, or online at petefrates.com/donate.
They also asked that the public celebrate Pete by following his daily affirmation:
"Be passionate, be genuine, be hardworking and don’t ever be afraid to be great."
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports