Frates is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He and his family have helped raise millions of dollars for research.
Andrew Frates spoke to 98.5 The Sports Hub‘s Toucher and Rich, and later to WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche, to give an update on Pete, who has been at Massachusetts General Hospital since July 2 fighting an infection.
“We were hopeful he was going to be released today, Tuesday,” Andrew told Roche. “On the horizon, shortly, hopefully, we’re hopeful to get him home to Beverly.”
Andrew said he can’t even express in words what it would mean to have his brother home.
“The last month has been pretty tough,” he said. “Once he gets home, he’ll be with his wife and his daughter and our family, and he’ll enjoy the Sunday cookouts that we have, and some more Red Sox baseball.”
Last week, the Frates family dealt with a false report that Pete had died after journalist Mike Barnicle tweeted that he had passed away at 32.
“It was a wild day,” Andrew said. “I’ve always told all my friends and whatnot that we’ll never experience the month of the Ice Bucket Challenge in August of 2014. Last week was pretty close!”
Barnicle deleted the tweet, but it had been re-tweeted over 1,000 times.
“There was a ten-minute window where our family, we were kind of doubting ourselves,” Andrew told Toucher and Rich. “Mike Barnicle put our house into a little bit of a tailspin.”
The family immediately started trying to contact the private nurse who is with Pete 24/7, but her phone was off. When they finally got in touch with her, she said Pete was resting comfortably.
“I had 45 text messages all in a row,” Andrew said. “I’m trying to tweet out correct reports as well. We went to our Team FrateTrain Facebook page and we got to just correcting the story.”
Andrew reminded people that any news about Pete would come directly from the Frates family.
“I have never met Mike personally in the five years of our journey,” Andrew said. “I know Pete and Mike’s son played baseball together in a league maybe 10, 15 years ago … for the news to come from someone that we don’t have a personal connection with is kind of strange.”
Barnicle apologized shortly after.
“We accept his remorse and we accept his apology,” Andrew said. “What’s done is done, and thankfully, like I mentioned, my brother has a great sense of humor and he’s actually spun it into more positive ALS awareness.”
Last May, they told WBZ-TV about their struggle to pay those bills, even as they helped to raise millions for ALS research. The family said they have been burdened with health care costs of $80,000 to $90,000 each month.
“Our great family friend Rob Griffin has spearheaded a pilot program called the Pete Frates Home Health Initiative in conjunction with the ALS Association, and it is going to cover all of Pete’s medical bills,” Andrew said.
The initiative has Pete’s care costs covered for the next year.
Andrew also talked with Roche about “The Ice Bucket Challenge: Pete Frates And The Fight Against ALS,” the new book written by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, which is available for pre-order.
Listen to Andrew Frates’ full interview on Toucher & Rich