The creator of SpongeBob SquarePants says he is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Stephen Hillenburg told Variety that he will continue to collaborate on the show and will continue his passions for as long as he can.

Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a rapidly evolving neuromuscular disease. There is no treatment at this time.

Hillenburg, 55, is a former professor of marine biology. In 1999, the latter created the series of cartoons that features a sponge living in a pineapple under the sea.

The American television network Nickelodeon said that Stephen Hillenburg “is a brilliant creator who brings joy to millions of amateurs,” adding that the network offered his support and thoughts to Mr. Hillenburg and his family.