Sad Diagnosis for Creator of SpongeBob
Stephen Hillenburg has ALS
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2017 2:03 AM CDT
This image released by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies shows characters, from left, Squidward Tentacles, SpongeBob SquarePants, Sandy Cheeks, and Mr. Krabs in a scene from "The Spongebob Movie:...   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies)

(Newser) – The man who dreamed up SpongeBob SquarePants announced a tough diagnosis on Monday: Stephen Hillenburg has ALS. The 55-year-old is in the early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurodegenerative disease often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, reports Variety. "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," he said in a statement. He is currently an executive producer of the Nickelodeon juggernaut, which has been on the air since 1999 and has been renewed for a 10th and 11th season. A third feature film is in the works for 2019, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

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