Peter Frates is a 29 year old from Beverly, MA, the 2007 Captain of Boston College Baseball, current Director of Baseball Operations at BC, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in March of 2012.
Since diagnosis, while courageously battling the progression of this horrific disease, Pete has made it his mission to spread awareness about this often misunderstood and presently incurable disease. He continues to inspire many with his positive outlook, determination and unwavering spirit. The Pete Frates #3 Fund helps with Pete’s medical care and expenses in addition to supporting him as he and his “Team Frate Train” carry on his mission of finding a treatment and cure for ALS.
There are roughly 30,000 Americans living with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with this progressive neurodegenerative disease causing muscle weakness, paralysis, and respiratory failure. It affects people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. About 10% of those diagnosed have a genetic form of the disease, while the majority live with a form that has no known cause. There is no cure or effective treatment for ALS.
ALS was first discovered by neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, MD, in 1865, but it wasn’t until baseball great, Lou Gehrig (1903-1941), was diagnosed with the disease in 1939 that ALS became well-known. A baseball hall-of-famer who played for the New York Yankees from 1923-1939, Gehrig left the game due to the progression of his disease. He gave his farewell speech on July 4, 1939, calling himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” and it has been credited as one of the most emotional moments in American sports history. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Gehrig’s farewell speech.