Patrick Quinn, one of the men who helped drive the wildly popular Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising campaign, has died aged 37.
Quinn, a New Yorker, was diagnosed with the incurable neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2013.
He died on Sunday morning, his supporters wrote on his official Facebook page. “He was a blessing to us all in so many ways,” they said.
The viral campaign has raised $220m (£163m) for ALS research.
The Ice Bucket Challenge did not begin with Quinn, but he and his family and friends helped it become a global social media phenomenon in the summer of 2014.
To complete the challenge, people would dump a bucket of ice water over their heads and post the video to social media, challenging others to do the same or make a donation to ALS research. Often, people did both.
The challenge drew high-profile participants like former President George W Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and President Donald Trump.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Rare condition where parts of the nervous system become damaged, causing progressive weakness, usually with muscle wasting
- In the US it is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous baseball player who was thought to have died from the disease
- Occurs when specialist nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord called motor neurones stop working properly; as the condition progresses, sufferers find basic activities such as walking, speaking, swallowing and breathing increasingly difficult to do
- Life expectancy for about half of those with ALS is three to four years from start of diagnosis, but some can live 10 years or longer – Prof Stephen Hawking had ALS for 55 years
- Source: NHS Choices