Zac Brown Band bassist and songwriter John Driskell Hopkins has been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
Hopkins revealed the news to his fans on YouTube along with his band on Friday, May 20.
“I have tough news to share and my brothers and sister have gathered to support me,” he shared in the clip featuring his bandmates, as well as tourmate Caroline Jones. “Over the past several years, I’ve noticed some balance issues and some stiffness in my hands. After careful analysis by some of the country’s top neurologists, I have been diagnosed with ALS.”
“Because my symptoms have been slow-progressing from the start, we believe they will continue to be slow progressing going forward. God willing, I plan to be rocking with these amazing people for many years to come,” he added.
According to the Mayo Clinic, ALS is a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the baseball player who was diagnosed with it.
ALS often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in a limb, or slurred speech. Eventually, ALS affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. There is no cure for this fatal disease.
Hopkins also founded the Hop On A Cure foundation to help fund research a cure for ALS. The group encouraged their fans to help “Hop On A Cure” by texting Hop to 345-345 or by visiting http://hoponacure.org.
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