On this episode of Global News What Happened To...?,, journalist Erica Vella revisits the story of the ice bucket challenge.

In 2014, social media feeds were flooded with videos of people showering themselves in ice cold water; the goal was to raise awareness and money for ALS.

Julie Frates’ husband, Pete Frates, was one of the co-creators.

“Our good friend Pat Quinn, who has ALS and lives in New York, he was challenged and in that challenge, he also named one of Pete's good friends,” she said.

“Pete saw it immediately and thought, okay … everyone's got to get on this right away and I remember sitting down that night at dinner and he directed all of us to go on Facebook and just continually start challenging people and sharing it.”

The campaign went viral; celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon and Bill Gates joined in on the dare and globally over $220 million dollars was raised.

“It was unfathomable,” she said.

“It was shocking for us and it was shocking for everyone in the medical community. Everyone who had spent their whole career trying to research this disease; it was kind of like such a huge windfall. It was amazing and overwhelming and completely hard to grasp.”

Pete was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2012. The disease weakens muscles and impairs physical functioning. There is no known cure.

Erica Vella speaks with the family that started the viral campaign to see what has happened since 2014 and endeavors to answer; did it lead to any positive change?


Twitter: @ericavella

Email: [email protected]

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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