Zac Brown Band founding member John Driskell Hopkins had “tough news to share” on Friday: He announced that he’s been diagnosed with ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
With his ZBB bandmates by his side, John delivered his news in a video message, describing some of his symptoms and telling fans that, so far, the progression of the disease has been very gradual.
“Over the past several years, I’ve noticed some balance issues and some stiffness in my hands,” he said. “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 that they will continue to be slow progressing going forward.”
He added, “God willing, I plan to be rocking with these amazing people for many years to come.”
An additional video message that John posted solo describes ALS as a “degenerative neuromuscular disease that has no cure,” also explaining that “[t]ypically, research shows a 3-5 year lifespan after diagnosis, but the slow progression stands to reason that I will be around longer than that.”
He also shared his family’s Hop on a Cure Foundation, which raises funds for research to find a cure for the disease.
Frontman Zac Brown spoke of the band’s work with the foundation in their video message. “The technology and research surrounding ALS treatments has been advancing, but we still don’t have a cure. Thanks so much for your prayers and support in helping us cure ALS,” he said.
The video ends with info on how to help the cause via the Hop on a Cure Foundation. To donate, text “Hop” to 345-345.