New York, NY — Patrick Ryan Quinn, who helped to popularize the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral online and swept the nation last summer, is the Grand Marshal of this year’s Yonkers St Patrick’s Parade.
The Yonkers native and leading advocate for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, will lead the 61st annual parade on McLean Avenue on March 19.
Quinn was diagnosed with the neurological disease in March of 2013, a month after his 30th birthday. There is no cure. Pat Quinn is a fighter, and he’s fighting for his life. Since then, Quinn has become a strong advocate, organizing family and friends into a group dubbed “Quinn for the Win,” to raise money for research and awareness of ALS. To Quinn, having no effective treatments or cure is not acceptable. “Quinn for the Win” has held more than a dozen local fundraising events to spread awareness of the disease and increase funding for ALS research.
Quinn was a leader in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, linking networks to popularize the Ice Bucket Challenge around the United States and around the world. The 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised over $220 million globally.
Quinn continues to advocate for additional funding for research and to spread awareness of this little-known disease. According to the National ALS Registry, about 12,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with ALS.
He has received many awards for his advocacy work, but the reward he and his wife, Jenn, really want is a cure for ALS. Referring to the success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Quinn’s motto is “Every August until a cure,” which has become the unofficial mantra of the ALS community.