Founding member of the Zac Brown Band, John Driskell Hopkins, has been diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Hopkins was surrounded by his bandmates as he shared the news with fans in a video posted to social media Friday (May 22).
“I have tough news to share,” the bassist and vocalist said. “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.”
Hopkins, 51,added that his symptoms have progressed slowly and he believes “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.”
ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, was named after the former New York Yankee standout who was forced into retirement in 1939 after 17 seasons due to the debilitating affects of the disease.
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.” There is no known cause for the disease and symptoms vary between patients. ALS targets the nervous system, weakens muscles and limits physical function. The symptoms worsen over time and there is currently no cure.
At the end of John Driskell Hopkins’ video he and Zac Brown shared the Hop On A Cure program, a nonprofit created by Hopkins “committed to supporting research to prevent, reverse, and cure ALS while raising awareness, building a compassionate community, and unleashing the healing power of hope.”
Find out how you can help Hop On A Cure by clicking HERE. Watch John Driskell Hopkins and his bandmate share his ALS diagnosis in the video below.