BEVERLY (CBS) — The man behind the Ice Bucket Challenge to fight ALS was awarded the 2017 NCAA Inspiration Award back in November, honoring him for his efforts to fight the neurodegenerative disease he was diagnosed with four years ago.
But due to the progression of his ALS, former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates isn’t able to make it to Nashville in January to accept the award–so the award came to him.
“Pete doesn’t ever, ever, ever get nervous for things like this. But we were pretty nervous,” said Julie Frates, Pete’s wife.
NCAA president Dr. Mark Emmert and NCAA Honors Committee chair Dr. Michael Benson presented the award to Frates in his Beverly home Tuesday afternoon.
“He can’t travel these days because if his illness. So really it was a simple decision. If he can’t come to us, we’ll come to him,” said Emmert.
The entire Boston College baseball team, along with BC Athletics Director Brad Bates and Head Coach Mike Gambino, were there, along with Frates’ family.
“He inspires us every day,” said BC baseball captain Bobby Skogsbergh. “Talk about Jesuit mission at Boston College, it’s men and women for others, I can’t think of anybody who embodies that more than Pete Frates.”
Frates was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 when he was just 27 years old. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” became a viral sensation and raised more than $115 million for ALS research.
“March 13, 2012 was the lowest day of my life. But in the past 4.5 years, we’ve been on a journey that only I could have imagined in my wildest dreams,” said Pete’s mother, Nancy, adding that the family continues to work to find a cure for ALS.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to get there.”