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Pat Quinn, co-founder of Ice Bucket Challenge, dead at 37 after losing ALS battle

The New York man who co-founded the viral “Ice Bucket Challenge” died Sunday after a long battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — the disease he tirelessly raised awareness for until he succumbed himself.

Pat Quinn, a 37-year-old from Yonkers, was diagnosed with ALS in 2013 and soon after, created the social media challenge as a way to raise money to find a cure for the illness, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“It is with great sadness that we must share the passing of Patrick early this morning. He was a blessing to us all in so many ways. We will always remember him for his inspiration and courage in his tireless fight against ALS,” a post on the Quinn for the Win Facebook page read Sunday.

The Ice Bucket Challenge, which swept social media starting in 2014, asked people to record themselves dumping a bucket of ice over their body. The stunt ended up raising over $220 million for ALS research, the Yonkers Times reported.

More than 20 million videos of the challenge were posted and included celebrities like former President George W. Bush and Bill Gates.

“I am so saddened to learn Yonkers lost its fighter, champion and warrior, Pat Quinn. While Pat was known to the world as one of the founders of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in Yonkers, he was more than that — he was one of us, someone who fought until the very end for the betterment of others,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano told the local paper.

“Pat, who was an honorary Yonkers Police Officer, graciously accepted his life’s challenges and paid it forward — a lesson we will never forget. During this season of Thanksgiving, we are forever grateful for Pat’s courage, compassion and leadership.”

Even as ALS ravaged his body, Quinn kept a fighting spirit all the way to the end.

“A new way of life after tracheostomy, but its LIVING & I got shit to do! Last time I left the hospital, I was right back 1 day later with pneumonia/struggling to breathe. Round 2 today of going home! Wish me luck! I’m still here. Please be thankful for everything. Everything!” Quinn wrote in a social media post Friday, according to the outlet.

He recently visited his alma mater, Iona College, for one last Ice Bucket Challenge event — and also attended a Quinn for the Win golf outing shortly before he passed away, the outlet said.

The Greater New York ALS Community honored Quinn in a statement, calling him a “towering figure.”

“Pat Quinn, a fierce advocate and co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, helped change the course of the fight against ALS, raising hundreds of millions of dollars for research and giving renewed hope to patients and families worldwide,” the community said.

“He was an inspiration to us all. While his efforts had an impact across the world, Pat was a beloved figure in our own backyard. The Greater New York ALS Community was proud to know Pat, and it was a privilege to fight by his side.”

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