Update on Cake Boss Momma Mary Valastro

As we reported a couple of weeks ago, the Ice Bucket Challenge, has become a nationwide phenomenon.

The Challenge, started by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patient Pete Frates to increase awareness of this debilitating disease and encourage donations to research for a cure, has been accepted by hundreds of celebrities- everyone from Ben Affleck to George W. Bush have braved the icy water.

The ALS foundation reports that as of today, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $79.7 million compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year.

For the Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, this outpouring of support has special meaning. As you may recall, his mother, Mary Valastro, was diagnosed with the disease,  also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2012. Shortly after her diagnosis Buddy set up the Momma Mary Foundation to raise money to aid ALS research.

In a recent People magazine interview, Buddy gives an update on his mother’s condition: “She’s got good days; she’s got bad days.” Although permanently in a wheelchair, the disease has not affected her breathing or speech, something that the optimistic Valastro sees as a “glass half full” blessing.

But it is still difficult for her family to see the once strong matriarch in her weakened state:

“I’ve seen the most independent, lively person that I’ve ever met in my life – I mean, she was just like a ball of energy – reduced to not being able to do anything for herself. And I think that’s the part that kills her the most because she was the matriarch. She did so many things for everyone. And now everyone has to do for her, which nobody minds doing – it’s just a big pill to swallow.”

And not one to shy away from a challenge, here’s Buddy’s acceptance of the Ice Bucket Challenge, as he posted it on Facebook:

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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