Pete Frates, the ALS patient who inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is still alive and celebrated with a tweet mocking an erroneous report that he died on Monday. Frates’ family posted a video on Twitter, with the Pearl Jam song “Alive” playing in the background.
Earlier on Monday, Morning Joe contributor and Boston native Mike Barnicle announced on Twitter that he heard Frates had died at age 32. However, his family posted on Facebook that he is “resting comfortably” at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was admitted to the hospital over the weekend.
“Update on Pete – July 3rd! Pete’s family wants everyone to know that Pete is resting comfortably at MGH as the Doctors, medicine, prayers and love continue to help him get stronger. Thank you for all your concern,” the statement from Frates’ family read.
Barnicle later issued a correction, writing, “CORRECTION: Family friend of Peter Frates told me had passed at 32. He was wrong and I was doubly wrong to tweet it. Thank God I was wrong.” He later apologized. Then, he asked his followers to donate to Frates instead of complaining to him about his mistake.
You can click here to donate to the Pete Frates #3 Fund. It’s a trust to assist Frates’ medical care. His family also teamed up with the ALS Association to launch the Home Health Initiative, which helps raise funds for other ALS patients to receive health care in their homes. It’s estimated that the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge helped raise $250 million for the cause in 2014.
In a May interview with CBS Boston, Frates’ father, John Frates, said that it has become difficult to afford Frates’ medical care. It costs between $85,000 and $95,000 a month to maintain the makeshift intensive care unit that was built in Frates’ house.
Frates is married to Julie Frates and has a two-year-old daughter named Lucy. He was diagnosed with ALS in March 2012 and was a college baseball star at Boston College. There is no known cure for the disease.
Here’s the entire Pearl Jam song: