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Irish-American man helps bring ice bucket challenge back

Pete Frates and Pat Quinn relaunch the Ice Bucket Challenge with the Red Sox baseball team to help raise awareness of motor neurone disease
Jennifer Maloney

AN Irish-American man who pioneered the ice bucket challenge on social media has been championing its return one year later under the banner 'Every August until a cure'.

Pat Quinn (32), who was born and raised in Yonkers, New York, was diagnosed with ALS, known as motor neurone disease in the UK and Ireland on March 8 2013 a month after his 30th birthday. 

The rare and terminal condition was brought to wider public attention last summer when the ice bucket challenge craze took off.

And Pat, whose father was originally from Newry, Co Down, along with his friend Pete Frates, who also has the illness, are credited with founding one of the greatest fundraising movements in history, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

More than $220 million was raised for various ALS organisations around the world. The ice bucket challenge raised £7 million in the UK – and £5 million of that is going into research for the condition which affects around 120 people in Northern Ireland.

“ALS is a disease that never stops attacking," Pat said. "It’s relentless, unforgiving, and discriminates against no man or woman. We need to make a change and we need to start now. We need to make a change and we need to start now. The Ice Bucket challenge was an amazing start, but we need to push further challenge was an amazing start, but we need to push further.”

 

The hashtag - #everyAugustuntilacure - has helped bring the ice bucket challenge back to the public's attention - particularly in the US where sportsteams have again been dousing themselves in iced water.

Pat continues to be an advocate and campaigner to raise awareness of the condition.

He has appeared before Congress and give inspirational speeches at schools and universities to Facebook and Google. Pat was nominated for TIME Person of the Year in 2014.

He added: “Sometimes it is easy to question why certain things happen to you. But I believe this hand has been dealt to me for a reason. And I’m not giving up.

“I was put on this earth to make a difference in the course of such a horrific disease, And I also believe my tough Irish blood has something to do with that.”

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