Yesterday, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants announced he has been diagnosed with ALS.
Stephen Hillenburg, who created the long-running cartoon, shared a message with his fans, published on Variety.
The 55-year-old has recently been diagnosed with the the neurodegenerative disease.
The statement, shared through Variety, reads:
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.
Nickelodeon also released a brief comment in response to the sad news, saying:
Steve Hillenburg is a brilliant creator who brings joy to millions of fans. 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.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a rare terminal illness that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
The terrible illness entered mainstream renown with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which raised an amazing $115million (£87m) through donations over an eight-week period in 2014.
Our thoughts are with Steve and his family at this difficult time.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.