The country music world has received some heartbreaking news today, as John Driskell Hopkins, the bassist, songwriter, and co-founder of the Zac Brown Band, announced that he has ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
In a minute long video, Hopkins made the address alongside every other member in the band, stating that he had been experiencing imbalance and stiffness in his hands for quite some time, which resulted in the doctors diagnosing him with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in loss of muscle control and eventually, death.
“Every 90 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with ALS. ALS is a degenerative neuromuscular disease that affects the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement (the muscles we have conscious control over).
The life expectancy of those affected is usually 3 to 5 years from when the symptoms first appear. However, about 10 percent of people with ALS survive for 10 or more years.”
The 51-year-old says the symptoms have worsened at a very slow rate, and doctors believe they will continue to do so.
Although he’s facing such a difficult time, he bravely founded the Hop on a Cure Foundation, which supports research to prevent, or find a cure to this awful disease.
Also, he plans to continue playing with the band for as long as he possibly can, as the group is currently on their Out in the Middle Tour.
Zac Brown mentioned that you can text “HOP” to 345-345 to make a donation.