BOSTON (CBS) — The family of Pete Frates could no longer have to worry about his costly medical bills thanks to a new program.

Lynn Aaronson, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chapter of the ALS Association, says the group’s new Pete Frates Home Health Initiative was created to help ease the cost of care for ALS patients.

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“This is really going to help a minimum of three and a goal of five patients in a very real way by paying most of their home health care needs,” Aaronson told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens.

Julie Frates, Pete Frates, John Frates, Ice Bucket Challenge

Julie and Pete Frates with their 2-year-old daughter. (WBZ-TV)

That would be welcome news to the Frates family. Last May, they told WBZ-TV about their struggle to pay Pete’s medical 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.

“We’re right at the tail end of being able to give out the first of our grants, and hopefully Pete will be one of those recipients,” Aaronson said. “A lot of these people are friends of Peter Frates, and it is their desire that he hopefully will be one of the recipients of this grant.”


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Julie Frates, Pete Frates, John Frates, Ice Bucket Challenge

Julie Frates and John Frates discuss the family’s financial struggles. (WBZ-TV)

The program was a response to a survey the ALS Association sent out to patients and caregivers that showed the cost of home health care was the number-one problem they faced.

There’s an application process, and an anonymous review process to go through first.

Frates has been at Massachusetts General Hospital for the last few days, but it is expected that his home care will continue.

His mother, Nancy, said this weekend that he was “resting comfortably,” amid a false report that he had died–and Pete himself took to Twitter to show everyone he was still very much with us.

Frates is the driving force behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraising phenomenon that has raised over $250 million for ALS research in three years.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

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