Nancy Frates is the mother behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and a leader in the ALS community. She is a member of the Chairman’s Council of the National Board of Trustees for the ALS Association.
On March 13, 2011, Frates’s 27-year-old son Peter was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Their world changed in a moment. With no treatment or cure, the prognosis was 2 to 5 years. Since that day, Frates has immersed herself in the ALS community. Through her education and work experience, she knew that the best way to become knowledgeable and currently informed on the disease was to get to know the players and the institutions that were on the forefront on this disease.
Since her son’s diagnosis, Frates has travelled and networked to the offices of CEO’s, senators, congressmen, top doctors, and governmental authorities. She has testified in Washington D.C., to an FDA panel and has initiated and executed petitions regarding important issues affecting the ALS communities.
Frates has developed strong relationships with executives at both the local and national levels of the ALS Association and other organizations involved in research, patient support and fundraising. In October 2014, she was appointed as a Trustee on the ALS Association National Board of Trustees.
She, along with other family members, run the Pete Frates #3 Fund. This fund, started by a group of family and friends, raise funds to aid Pete in his battle with the disease. Through his diagnosis, Frates learned that the average cost for an ALS patient to live with the disease is $280,000.00 per year. Team Frate Train, as Pete’s supporters are known, have grown over the past couple of years. They have a website, sell Frate Train Gear and run marquee events for the fund as well as supporting ALS organizations through their events.
Pete, along with the Team Frate Train, championed August 2014’s global movement The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The team championed the historic global movement, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which ignited a media maelstrom, raising over $220 million in just five weeks.
Frates holds a business degree from Boston College and an honorary Doctorate in Humane Studies from Endicott College. Before devoting her life to her son's mission, she was an accomplished entrepreneur and business coach. She presently serves on the Board of Trustees at Endicott College and is a member of the Chairman’s Council of the National Board of Trustees for the ALS Association. She is an advisor to several pharmaceutical companies and works closely with many organizations which provide care services to those presently living with ALS. In August 2017, New York Times bestselling authors Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge published her family's story, The Ice Bucket Challenge. Her Ted Talk, on Ted.com, has been viewed over 1 million times.
In January 2019, it was announced that Netflix, along with producer Casey Affleck, will be making a movie of the Frates amazing journey.
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