Ice Bucket Challenge Activist Patrick Quinn dies Aged 37

Ice Bucket Challenge Activist Patrick Quinn, an ALS sufferer since 2013, has died Aged 37.

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.

Patrick 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 €182 million for ALS research. The Ice Bucket Challenge did not actually start with Quinn, but he and his family and friends helped it become a global social media phenomenon in the summer of 2014.

The ALS Association credited Quinn on Sunday with helping popularise “the greatest social media campaign in history”, adding: “The Ice Bucket challenge dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS, leading to new research discoveries, expansion of care for people with ALS, and greater investment by the government in ALS research.”

Condolences to the Quinn family poured in on social media on Sunday night, with many expressing gratitude for the spotlight he drew to the disease and the need to find a cure. His supporters said on Facebook: “We will always remember him for his inspiration and courage in his tireless fight against ALS.”

It was in the summer of 2014 that the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media with people around the world posting videos and photos of themselves dumping buckets of ice water on their heads and challenging others to do the same while urging donations for ALS research.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 12,000 to 15,000 Americans may have ALS. An estimated 5% to 10% of ALS cases are believed to be hereditary, but the cause is unknown and there is no cure.

Among Quinn’s many honours for raising awareness of ALS and promoting research was a nomination with fellow ALS activist Peter Frates as Time magazine person of the year. Frates died last year aged 34, seven years after his diagnosis.


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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