Though it's been nearly four months since Buddy Valastro lost his mom, Mary Valastro, the Cake Boss star has admitted he's still struggling with his beloved mother's death today. "She was my biggest fan, she was my mom, she was my hero. I would not be the man I am today without her. It is a loss," the 40-year-old told Radar Online on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Watch the video below to see what else Buddy said about Mary's passing.
Mary sadly passed away on the morning of Thursday, June 22 at age 69 after an eight-year battle with ALS. "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," Buddy confirmed via Instagram at the time. "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." Buddy's father, Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, Sr., died in March 1994 at age 54 after a short battle with lung cancer.
Buddy's rep additionally told People that the celebrity chef "rushed back to New Jersey" to be with his mom after her health, unfortunately, took a turn for the worse. "Mary’s condition had been steadily worsening these past months, so it was not sudden but still extremely heartbreaking for the family," the rep said. "After eight years of fighting her battle with ALS, the family is relieved she is no longer suffering. Buddy and his sisters are absolutely crushed right now."
Following Mary's death, Buddy announced all of his Carlo's Bakery locations would close for one day on Tuesday, June 27 to pay tribute to his late mom. "In observance of the mourning of the passing of Mary Valastro, Carlo's Bakery will be closed Tuesday, June 27, 2017. Thank you in advance for your understanding. Normal business activities will resume Wednesday, June 28, 2017," a message posted to the Carlo's Bakery Instagram account read over the summer.
Prior to her passing, Mary had been a frequent guest-star on her son's popular reality show, Cake Boss, over the years. The series premiered on TLC back in April 2009 and featured Buddy, his four sisters, and their extended family members as they ran Hoboken, NJ's Carlo's Bake Shop. Buddy candidly opened up about his mother's disease in a 2014 interview. "The worst part about ALS is that one day you’re able to brush your teeth, then you’ll never be able to brush your teeth again. One day you’re able to walk — you’re never going to walk again," he told People.
Buddy with his mother and four sisters. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"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," he added. "And I think that’s the part that kills her the most because she was the matriarch. She did so many things for everyone."