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'We Can't Afford It': Frates Family Struggles To Keep Up With Cost Of ALS Care

BEVERLY (CBS) – He's credited with raising more than $250 million through the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Now 32-year-old Pete Frates, who is still fighting for his life, is also fighting to stay with his family at home.

The Frates family spoke candidly to WBZ-TV about the overwhelming financial burden resulting from 24-hour home healthcare for Pete.

"Any family would be broke because of this," said John Frates, Pete's father, who added that the family faces medical bills of anywhere between $85,000-$95,000 per month.

"After 2-and-a-half years of this type of expense, it's become absolutely unsustainable for us. We can't afford it," he added.

Pete is on life support at home. His bedroom has been turned into an Intensive Care Unit with his daughter and wife by his side.

pete frates family
Julie and Pete Frates with their 2-year-old daughter May 23, 2017. (WBZ-TV)

The family says Pete's wife Julie and 2-year-old daughter are what gives him the will to keep fighting.

The thought of putting him into a facility away from family is not an option.

"Pete's life would be over," Julie Frates told WBZ-TV.

When Pete was first diagnosed with ALS, the Frates family made a promise to keep him in the home no matter what. But now that the cost has reached $3,000 per day, the family is reaching out for help.

Rob Griffin
Rob Griffin has helped create a fund that aims to allow Pete Frates to remain in home healthcare. (WBZ-TV)

Long-time family friend and philanthropist Rob Griffin has teamed up with the Frates family and ALS with a new initiative to help raise money specifically for families like Pete Frates.

The goal to raise $1 million through the Home Health Care Initiative.

"We hope to start an initiative to help the Frates family and all families that are going through that, and hope it takes off on national basis. We're trying to kick it off here in Boston," Griffin said.

"Our goal is to raise money to be really impactful for perhaps a few patients each year. It's not like our normal programs where we try to help every single patient in Massachusetts," added ALS Association Executive Director of Massachusetts Lynn Aaronson.

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

A fundraiser will be held on June 5 in Boston for the former Boston College star athlete.

"I'm just extremely grateful that they are recognizing how significant Pete has been in this community. We just want to keep him at home with his family," Julie Frates said.

For more information on the Home Healthcare Initiative, including how to donate, visit

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