88 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NANCY FRATES
ALS is going to take my son away. I have grieved and my family has grieved every day for seven and a half years. We know what the outcome is, but you cannot speak about this journey without acknowledging the gifts we have also been given. – Nancy Frates
You’ve heard of The Ice Bucket Challenge, right? This is the story of how it came about.
On March 13, 2012 Nancy Frates accompanied her son Pete to a doctor’s appointment. Only 27 years old, he had been a superb, lifelong athlete. In fact, Pete had played professional baseball in Europe following his graduation from Boston College. Now living in Boston and making his way in the insurance industry, Pete had been hit in the wrist by a fastball in a summer league and thought he had a pinched nerve. When the doctor said tests confirmed he had ALS, Petes’ mother Nancy admits: “I didn’t know what ALS was. I just knew it was bad.” Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the famous New York Yankees baseball player who died of the disease in 1941, ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. There is no treatment and no cure for ALS and the average patient lives 2-5 years after diagnosis. During that time, muscles are rendered useless and ALS is 100% fatal. No one would have blamed Nancy Frates if she shut herself in a dark room and cried for days, weeks, or even months, but that is not what Peter wanted. Instead, he gathered his family and his friends and formed team Frate Train. Using the power of social media, Pete showed the world what ALS was doing to him and was determined to raise awareness and money for research. Pete is the inspiration for The Ice Bucket Challenge, a worldwide fundraising phenomenon that raised 220 million dollars for the ALS Foundation and its global partners. Married and the father of a 5 year old daughter named Lucy, Pete Frates is still alive, experiencing daily moments of joy his daughter and loved ones bring him. His mother remains steadfast in her love for her son and her passion to find a cure she knows will not come in time for him. “My husband and I cry, but we also cry tears of joy because look at what this child of ours has done. Look at the people he has inspired. We are filled with immense pride.” Listen to Nancy’s story for a master class in the power of mother love. #icebucketchallenge @BWME #storybehindhersuccess #16LifeLessons #mydoveproductions
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