AceShowbiz - John Driskell Hopkins refuses to let a sickness get the better of him. Through a new video announcing his health condition, the founding member of Zac Brown Band assured he remains hopeful despite the fact that he has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
In the YouTube video posted on Friday, May 20, the "Heavy Is the Head" hitmaker first came forward about his diagnosis. "Over the past several years, I've noticed some balance issues and some stiffness in my hands," he began as saying, "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," John further explained. However, the songwriter insisted that he did not lose hope.
The "Toes" hitmaker pointed out that he is planning to continue his music journey with his bandmates for as long as possible. "God willing, I plan to be rocking with these amazing people for many years to come," he declared.
Following his announcement, John and his bandmates asked viewers to donate to ALS research, which was supported by his foundation Hop on a Cure. Other than supporting research to prevent, reverse and cure the rare disorder, the foundation also aims to raise awareness and build community.
"The technology and research surrounding ALS research has been advancing, but we still don't have a cure," bandmate Zac Brown stated, "Thanks so much for your prayers and support in helping us cure ALS."
Despite his disorder, John is currently on tour with Zac Brown Brand, which will run until November 19. On the tour, the 51-year-old musician is playing instruments, including guitar, banjo and ukulele, as well as singing for the group. Back in 2021, he released a solo album titled "Lonesome High".
ALS, or also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rare disease that affects 1,5 to 3 per 100,000 people every year. It is a neurodegenerative disorder that slowly kills nerve cells in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord, which causes the muscles in the body to deteriorate. The lifespan of people who are diagnosed with ALS is usually three to five years. However, there are some cases where those living with the disease are able to survive for 10 years.