The world was left in mourning as news of the death of Patrick Quinn – the co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign – made waves across social media, even reaching Malta.
Quinn was one of the many ALS activists to helped propel the Ice Bucket Challenge into global phenomenon status in the summer of 2014.
Among the outpouring of messages and tributes sent across social media regarding Quinn’s death, Lovin Malta reached out to Bjorn Formosa – Malta’s most prominent ALS activist – for his comment in light of Quinn’s death.
“The guy, together with challenge co-founder Pete Frates, was incredibly inspirational with the ice bucket challenge which made it easier for me to launch ALS Malta a year later. I’m saddened for Pat but once again it reminds me that there is not much more time on my clock,” Formosa said.
Diagnosed with the incurable disease in 2013, Quinn – whilst not being the start of the ALS awareness campaign – has become known as one of the key activists to aid in the campaign becoming a global phenomenon and great success.
In fact, Quinn and Frates are credited as the founders of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
In total, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised $220 million (€185) for researching further into ALS.
Patrick Quinn’s death on the 22nd November, comes nearly a year after fellow co-founder Frates – who died aged 34.
As reported in a Lovin Malta article earlier this year, there are believed to be up to 100 people who have been diagnosed with ALS in Malta.
At the local level, Formosa serves as the dedicated founder of Dar Bjorn – a care home catering specifically to providing all the support that ALS sufferers may require, free of charge.
Having been diagnosed with ALS in 2015, Formosa helped set up ALS Malta in the wake of the successful global ALS awareness campaigns. The intended goal for ALS Malta is to provide support and raise awareness regarding ALS.
ALS Malta also seeks to aid in the continued search for further understanding into ALS – including treatments and a cure.
Following Quinn’s death, Formosa remarked that it brought the reality closer to home for the public.
“ALS is brutal and always fatal! We need to open the Newer & Bigger DAR Bjorn as soon as possible because I might as well be the next in line!” Formosa continued.
The Dar Bjorn 2 Project which aims to create a second Dar Bjorn in order to be able to accommodate for more patients.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a rare, incurable condition in which parts of the nervous system become damage – causing progressive weakness and loss of mobility. As the condition progresses, basic activities such as walking, swallowing and even breathing become more and more difficult.
In general, around 50% of ALS sufferers have a life expectancy of three to four years – with some living to 10 years. Another famous sufferer with the disease – Stephen Hawking – lived with ALS for 55 years.
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