Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of "SpongeBob SquarePants," announced Monday he had been diagnosed with ALS.
The disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease, has no cure. It affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and deteriorates motor function over time.
Hillenburg, 55, told Variety he would keep working on the show as he battled the disease. SpongeBob has been on the air since 1999.