Buddy Valastro has shared some very sad news with his fans.
Following a lengthy battle with ALC, the Cake Boss host's mother, Mary, has passed away at the age of 69.
In an exclusive statement to People Magazine, a representative for Valastro said the following in response to the unfortunate development:
“Mary took a turn yesterday, and Buddy rushed back to New Jersey last night to be by her side.
"She passed early this morning, June 22nd, surrounded by all of her children."
"Mary’s condition had been steadily worsening these past months, so it was not sudden but still extremely heartbreaking for the family."
"After eight years of fighting her battle with ALS, the family is relieved she is no longer suffering."
"Buddy and his sisters are absolutely crushed right now.”
Our heart goes out to them.
Following this statement by his associated, the 40-year old TLC star posted his own sad thoughts on Instagram.
As a caption to the photo of him with his mother (above), Valastro wrote the following:
It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I must share the news of my mother’s passing. She left for heaven this morning, surrounded by the family.
This is a difficult time for all of us and I do ask for your patience and respect while we let this sink in.
Her battle with ALS has ended, she is no longer suffering and I hope she’s dancing to “I Will Survive” with my dad right now.
ALS stands for “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.”
It is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease because it ended the life of the former New York Yankees first baseman at a very young age.
A neurological disorder, ALS affects the nerves controlling voluntary muscle movement.
It worsens over time, until the point where the person afflicted has almost no control over his or her body or mind.
It's an awful disease.
After Mary was diagnosed with the illness, Valastro launched the Mama Mary Foundation to raise money and awareness for those affected by ALS.
In 1994, Buddy took over the bakery his parents launched upon immigrating from Italy many decades ago.
And, at the height of the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, he opened up to People about his mother's diagnosis.
"The worst part about ALS is that one day you’re able to brush your teeth, then you’ll never be able to brush your teeth again," he said at the time.
He added: "One day you’re able to walk."
"Then you’re never going to walk again.
"I’ve seen the most independent, lively person that I’ve ever met in my life - I mean, she was just like a ball of energy - reduced to not being able to do anything for herself."
"And I think that’s the part that kills her the most because she was the matriarch. She did so many things for everyone."
Our condolences go out to Valastro and his loved ones.
May Mary rest in peace.