God Bless Pat Quinn
Yonkers, and America, Loses a Hero—“Strong, smart, funny, tough as nails and determined to make the world pay attention to ALS,” State Senator Shelley Mayer.
Pat Quinn, co founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge, died at the age of 37 on November 22, after a long, heroic struggle with ALS. Quinn, a Yonkers resident, was diagnosed with ALS in 2013 and shortly after, began his legacy of getting millions of Americans to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise money to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. With Quinn leading the effort, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $220 Million for ALS research.
The Quinn for the Win website made the announcement, writing, “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.”
The Yonkers community loved Quinn’s courage and embraced his efforts to find a cure and to never give up. “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. 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,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.
State Senator Shelley Mayer said, “I have such deep sadness over the passing of Quinn for the Win Pat Quinn. He fought ALS not only for himself but for the world with the Ice Bucket Challenge he co-founded and with numerous other events for ALS. And he did it with 100% of his being. In Yonkers, he made a lasting impact on all of us. In Albany, he forced legislators to take notice and fund ALS research and services. In DC, he was a champion for research dollars. In person, he was determined, funny, brilliant and genuine. I will miss him greatly. May his memory be a blessing and my deepest condolences to his family. Strong, smart, funny, tough as nails and determined to make the world pay attention to ALS.
Pat toughness can be found in the last weeks he spent with us. A recent Quinn for the Win Golf Outing, and a visit to his alma mater, Iona, for his last Ice Bucket Challenge event, were some of his last public events before returning to the hospital. “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!” post Quinn on November 20.
Nobody raised more money for ALS research, or raise awareness for the disease. The Greater ALS Community said, “Today, the ALS Community lost 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. 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.”
Other comments to Pat Quinn include: “The beauty of his resiliency, the infectiousness of his optimism, and the inspiration of his tenacity helped to inject the entire community with hope and determination as we persist towards a future that’s once and finally free from ALS.
“If you never got the chance to meet the self-described “stubborn Irish SOB” that was Pat Quinn check out the defiant smile he flashes 45 seconds into this video. It tells you just about all you need to know about the man and his incredible resilience. In the middle of laying out all that ALS had taken from him – his ability to use his arms, his ability to walk, to talk, to eat – he smiled to show that he remained unbowed. Life is precious. And I’m so grateful to have had the chance to witness the example he set for living every last breadth with optimism, gratitude and determination. And a smile that says you can knock me down but I’m getting right back up. Rest in Peace Pat. Few did so much for so many.”
More than 20 Million videos have been posted worldwide from those who heard Pat Quinn’s call and posted Ice Bucket Challenge videos. In the summer of 2014 and 15, the Ice Bucket Challenge became a happening and a thing to do, with former President George W. Bush and Bill Gates among the millions taking part.
State Senator and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said, “2020 has been hard, I have lost many of my heroes, and Pat was one of my personal heroes. Pat made the best of the worst situation. He taught us how to never give up hope and to fight for a better future. He will be greatly missed and always remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him.”
Pat Quinn loved sports, and loved talking sports. Those were my few conversations with him, about college basketball which he enjoyed watching. Since those conversations, I have watched him defiantly fight for his life, never wanting your sympathy, but gladly getting you to make a donation for an ALS cure. If you were able to be in his company and watch his courage and ability to raise money for a disease that he likely knew would take him before a cure could be found, then like myself and thousands of others, you can say “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I knew Pat Quinn.”