By: Gerry Sullivan Twitter: @gerrysullivan12/@UltSportsBlogs
Finals season is upon us, and if you are anything like me you are probably up late into the night, working on assignments that are due or studying for your exams that are coming up. It’s an extremely stressful time of the year and it is easy for you to complain about everything that you have going on and feel sorry for yourself because you are so miserable.
It would have been easy for Pete Frates to do that. For those unfamiliar with his story, Pete was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2012 at age 27. A former Boston College baseball player, Pete was only 5 years out of college when he was diagnosed. He had his entire life in front of him, but suddenly that future was swiped away with his diagnosis. At age 27, Pete was told that his health was going to quickly get worse, and that he did not have much life in front of him. As his disease worsened, Pete was paralyzed and was forced into a wheelchair, lost his ability to talk, and was fed through a tube. With such a terrible situation given to him, it would have been easy for him to give up, feel sorry for himself, and complain to everyone about how his life was ruined.
But he didn’t.
Pete decided he was going to fight ALS, and he fought like hell. He was the one who really helped the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge explode during the summer of 2014, and the Ice Bucket Challenge helped raise $220 million for ALS research.
Unfortunately, yesterday Pete’s 7-year long fight came to an end, as he died at the age of 34.
Pete Frates is an inspiration. He taught me and many others that no matter how bad a situation gets, you need to keep fighting and try to make the best of it. He inspired everyone he came into contact with, and was the true definition of a superhero. People not only in Boston, but all over the country, will be feeling this loss.
So, during this stressful time where you are facing some small adversity, just take a second to remember how Pete Frates responded to the most severe adversity anyone could face. He’s the ultimate role model, and every single person on this planet can take a lesson from the way he fought a disease in a way that most of us couldn’t.
Rest in peace Pete Frates. An inspiration to all, and a leader in the fight to stop ALS.