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Minggu, 22 November 2020

Ice Bucket Challenge co-creator Patrick Quinn dies at 37 from motor neurone disease - ABC News

One of the men behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, a worldwide phenomenon which helped raise money and awareness for motor neurone disease, has died seven years after being diagnosed with the illness.

Friends and supporters paid tribute to Patrick Quinn, 37, on social media.

"It is with great sadness that we must share the passing of Patrick early this morning," they wrote.

Mr Quinn and Pete Frates, who died last year at 34, started the challenge in 2014 after being diagnosed with ALS, also known as motor neurone disease.

The challenge quickly went viral on social media, with people around the world posting videos and photos of themselves dumping buckets of ice water on their heads, and challenging others to do the same while urging donations for ALS research.

It didn't take long for celebrities, politicians and athletes to jump on the bandwagon, helping to raise more than $US220 million for medical research.

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Who was Patrick Quinn and why did he start this challenge?

Mr Quinn was born and grew up in Yonkers, New York.

He was diagnosed with ALS on March 8, 2013.

He and Mr Frates said in 2019 that they were determined to raise money for ALS, but didn't expect the viral response that ensued. 

"In the summer of 2014, we challenged our friends and family to dump buckets full of ice water over their heads to raise awareness and funds for ALS," they said.

Among Mr Quinn's many honours for raising awareness of ALS and promoting research was a nomination, with Mr Frates, for Time magazine's Person of the Year.

What exactly was the Ice Bucket Challenge?

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Basically, it involved people videoing themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads.

Or over someone else's.

Yes, it seems an odd way to raise awareness about ALS, but it worked.

It evolved from earlier smaller cold water challenges to raise funds for various charities like the Special Olympics, hospices and sick children.

But none gained traction like this one.

The Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media in the northern summer of 2014.

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Was it successful?

Hugely.

There were more than 2.4 million tagged videos circulating on Facebook. Celebrities embraced the challenge, with the likes of Justin Bieber, LeBron James, Weird Al Yankovic, Russell Brand and former US president George W Bush taking part.

Bill Gates, Barnaby Joyce, Ricky Gervais and Kermit the Frog also joined in.

Even Donald Trump got involved, electing to have ice tipped over him by then-Miss Universe and Miss USA as he sat on top of a skyscraper.

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The challenge definitely hit its peak in 2014, but had smaller revivals in subsequent years.

Dr Matthew Robinson, from the Brain Institute at the University of Queensland, said the money helped researchers find three new genes involved in ALS.

"The hope is that as a result, we can better understand what these genes actually do," he said.

Was there a backlash?

It's the internet. Of course there was.

Some media columnists complained about it being a form of 'armchair slacktivism', criticising participants for not getting more meaningfully involved in raising money and awareness.

Others said celebrities were simply showing off.

And, of course, some complained about it being a waste of water, particularly as places like California and some areas in China were experiencing extreme drought at the time.

Californian authorities tried to encourage people to use buckets of dirt instead, or to fill them with other items like socks.

Singer Carole King chose to do her challenge in a creek, so the water would not be wasted.

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So what is ALS?

ALS is also known as motor neurone disease, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

It's a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord, causing progressive paralysis.

It affects the nerves that communicate between the brain and the muscles that allow us to move, speak, swallow and breathe.

Once a person is diagnosed, the average life expectancy is just two to three years.

It can affect adults of any age but is more common in people over 50.

The cause is unknown, and there is no cure.

There are currently more than 2,000 Australians living with ALS.

ABC/wires

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2020-11-23 01:33:00Z
CAIiEAtG9FSK085FVyK06wwVcfAqFggEKg4IACoGCAow3vI9MPeaCDDciw4

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