In March of 2012, Andrew’s brother (Pete Frates) was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 27. Being 24 years old at the time, recently graduated from Bentley University, Andrew put his life on pause to be a full-time brother and help his family with Pete’s day-to-day cares. People often say “Family First” when it comes to specific decisions with their work-life balance, but Andrew’s story is truly one in a million that will inspire you.
Since his diagnosis, Pete has enjoyed the strength and support of his family in raising awareness and funds for ALS research. Andrew was a driving force in the viral trend known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge.”Being the first of the Frates family to dump a cold bucket of ice water over his head, he challenged friends and family which inspired millions across the world to do the same.
These days Andrew travels around the world sharing his brothers story and raising ALS awareness in hopes that one day he’ll be able to help other families effected by this terrible disease and eventually find a cure.
Pete Frates’ Story
A Father’s Legacy
Nancy Frates: TED
Facts YOU Should Know
There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health caregiving later in the disease. It is important to be knowledgeable about your health plan coverage and other programs for which you may be eligible, including Social Security Disability, Medicare, Mediciad and Veteran Affairs benefits.
The onset of ALS often involves muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
YES – Military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.
ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries and can affect anyone.
Approximately 6,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that more than 20,000 Americans may be living with ALS at any given time.
Once ALS starts, it almost always progresses, eventually taking away the ability to walk, dress, write, speak, swallow, and breathe and shortening the life span. How fast and in what order this occurs is very different from person to person. While the average survival time is 3 years, about twenty percent of people with ALS live five years, 10 percent will survive ten years and five percent will live 20 years or more.
Although the life expectancy of a person with ALS averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable, and many people can live with the disease for five years and more. More than half of all people with ALS live more than three years after diagnosis.