Julie Frates is the wife of Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 and started the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and money for the disease. The challenge has gone viral over the past few days, and has been accepted by celebrities all over the country.
Here’s what you need to know about her.
1. She’s Expecting a Baby In September
Pete and Julie are expecting a baby in September. The announcement was documented by various newspapers, including the Boston Herald, in February. Pete’s father wanted to wait to announce the pregnancy until Pete had posted it on his Facebook page.
That’s social media for you.
While Pete’s body may be deteriorating, he’s still as sharp as a tack. He told ESPN,
My mind is sharper than ever. I notice every little thing.
2. She Met Pete On a Beach On the Fourth of July
Julie met Pete on July 4, 2011, on a beach in her hometown of Marblehead, MA. She was 22 at the time, an incoming senior at BC, and Pete was a 28-year-old former BC baseball star who had a career in insurance. According to Boston.com, the two “fell in love fast.”
Julie moved out of her BC dorm a couple months before graduation to help care for Pete at his parents home. She wanted him to get better. She jokingly told Boston.com that the two had already “nailed” the vow to love one another in sickness and in health. Pete said,
I know it’s not easy. I’m sure she never thought she’d be taking care of her 28-year-old boyfriend who walks around like he’s 90.
Though Pete knows the odds are against him, he hopes to play baseball again– something Lou Gehrig was never able to do. In December 2012, he said,
I am not an old man. It wasn’t very long ago that I was out there, smacking the ball around. . . . As soon as I’m better, I’ll be back out there.
3. She Went to BC As Well
Julie was still in college when she met her future husband, who was diagnosed eight months after their first meeting. She has devoted her life to taking care of Pete, and plans on having a happy life with him. Mik Aoki, who was Pete’s coach, knew Pete particularly well. He told Southbend Tribune,
When I talked to him and he told me about the diagnosis, he said that he had done sort of all of the research online and he had kind of kept it to himself, but that the diagnosis did not come as a surprise to him. He’s an awesome kid, a high-energy kid, a fighter. He’s just such an inspiration. He comes from a great family.
4. She Married Pete On June 1, 2013
Julie and Pete were married on June 1, 2013, at an oceanfront event in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where Julie is from. Pete was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2012, and quickly became aware of the obstacles they would face together. He told Boston.com ,
My goal is live a long and fruitful life with her.
5. She Wants To Spread ALS Awareness
Julie recently spoke to WHDH about the ALS bucket challenge and her and Pete’s intentions with the campaign.
Really all Pete and I could ask is that people learn about the disease and what the disease really is. Before Pete was diagnosed neither of us really had much of an idea what the disease really was. I didn’t know it was terminal, I didn’t know there was no cure.
She and Pete are thrilled with the popularity of the campaign.
The ALS Bucket Challenge, in honor of former BC baseball captain Pete Frates, is a campaign to raise money for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal chord.Click here to read more
The Ice Bucket Challenge, started by Massachusetts resident and ALS patient Pete Frates, has brought Lou Gehrig's Disease into the national consciousness as the campaign has gone viral. Read more on the disease here.Click here to read more