HOBOKEN — Mary Valastro, mother of TLC’s “Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro, died Thursday morning after a long battle with ALS at the age of 69.
ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gherig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that weakens muscles, impacts physical function, and is always fatal. There is no cure.
According to the ALS Association, a little over 6,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year and it is estimated that as many as 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.
Buddy Valastro, whose Hoboken bakery spawned a TV show and franchises, took to social media after her passing.
“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.’ he wrote on Instagram.
Buddy Valastro took over Carlo’s Bakery when his father died in 1994 and turned it into a popular tourist attraction and brand opening several more locations, a line of bakeware, cookbooks and of course a reality tv show.
His mother, who appeared in the early seasons of the show, retired after her diagnoses in 2012.