July 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM ET
Instead of an amazing and tasty creation, "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro shared some unfortunate news Tuesday. The star of TLC's program about Carlo's Bake Shop in New Jersey revealed that his 64-year-old mother, Mary, has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
"I can confirm that my mother Mary – the heartbeat of the Valastro family and Mama to all of Carlo's Bakery – has been diagnosed with ALS," Valastro said in a statement first shared with People magazine. "She is tackling it with the strength and determination she always shows, and the entire family is in this together, fighting for her. We'd like to thank all of our fans for the love and prayers – it means a great deal to all of us."
TLC told TODAY.com that the network "shares its support with the family."
Mama Valastro kept the family bakery running after her husband died in 1994, and retired in 2010. She was a regular on "Cake Boss" up until her retirement, which was featured on the season three premiere. Though she's no longer featured regularly, Mary still makes appearances on the program.
TLC told us that the show's summer finale, airing July 23, will focus on Mary's illness and her family's reaction to it. The network has not yet decided whether she'll be featured more or less than in the past few seasons of the show.
"Cake Boss" airs on TLC at 9 p.m. on Mondays.
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