The man suffering from ALS and credited with starting the Ice Bucket Challenge, Pete Frates, 29, lost one of his biggest supporters this weekend. His friend and former Boston College classmate, Corey Griffin, 27, died after leaving an ALS fundraiser in Nantucket on Friday evening where he raised $100,000 for the cause. After the event, he dove off of a building into a wharf and drowned, according to The Boston Globe.
Frates shared the news and released a statement on his Facebook page: “Team FrateTrain lost a good friend today, Corey Griffin. Helping out was nothing new for Griff. He held his own event for me back in 2012, just a few months after diagnosis. He worked his butt off these last few weeks for ALS. We texted everyday, planning and scheming ways to raise funds and plan events.”
Griffin had helped Frates, a former Boston College baseball star who was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) two years ago and has since lost his ability to talk and can’t move his arms or legs, create his Ice Bucket Challenge video which was one of the very first.
Since the video was posted on his Facebook page, the movement has gone viral with celebrities, politicians, sports stars and more dumping buckets of ice water over their heads and challenging three others to do the same to raise awareness for the disease.
If someone fails to complete the task, they must donate $100 to the ALS Association, but many participants choose to do both. The stunts have brought the degenerative disease with no known cure into the spotlight as well as raised much needed funds. The ALS Association reports that it received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 20).