The 'Spongebob Squarepants' Creator Just Revealed Some Sad Health News To Fans
14 March 2017, 12:00 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09
Stephen Hillenburg thanks fans for their support in a statement confirming his ALS.
Sad news for Spongebob Squarepants fans everywhere as series creator Stephen Hillenburg has revealed that he has been diagnosed with ALS.
Stephen spoke to Variety in a statement to fans and supporters, clarifying that while he will be receiving treatment, he still fully intends to keep working on the show for as long as possible:
"I wanted people to hear directly from me that I have been diagnosed with ALS. Anyone who knows me knows that I will continue to work on SpongeBob SquarePants and my other passions for as long as I am able. My family and I are grateful for the outpouring of love and support. We ask that our sincere request for privacy be honored during this time."
The much beloved Nickelodeon cartoon launched in 1999 and eventually spawned two movies and a Broadway musical currently in development featuring songs by the likes of David Bowie and Panic! At The Disco.
A degenerative motor neuron illness, ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It's effects were recently shown on screen in The Theory Of Everything, the oscar-winning biopic of scientist Stephen Hawking who also suffers from the condition.
Fans of the show have been quick to show support online for Hillenburg:
This is heartbreaking.— Shane (@FourScore64) March 14, 2017
Stephen Hillenburg has shaped many lives, let's support him throughout this difficult time.https://t.co/Ud4LDPaMkW
good lord this is such a shitty thing for anyone to be diagnosed with. very talented guy. https://t.co/WpurStae2e— psychicpebbles (@psychicpebble) March 14, 2017
the creator of spongebob squarepants has ALS and i am crying :(— baby kael (@based_kael) March 14, 2017
Oh man I really hope that he recovers from it I'm wishing for the best https://t.co/7fftPHCZXd— Parappa Pinal (@oscarpinal13) March 14, 2017
Nickelodeon said in a statement "Our thoughts and support are with Steve and his family during this difficult time. Out of respect for their wishes for privacy, we will have no further comment."