John Drriskell Hopkins revealed that he had been diagnosed with ALS. He was with his bandmates from the country music group when the short video taken on the band’s YouTube account. This 51-year-old musician has performed as a multi-instrumentalist with a focus on bass, vocalist, and lyricist. John admits he has bad news for the band’s large fan base.
He tweeted saying that he has difficult news to share, and his brothers and sisters have come together to support him. Over the last few years, he has noticed some balance issues and stiffness in his hands. After careful analysis by some of the nation’s leading neurologists, he was diagnosed with ALS. Since the symptoms developed slowly early on, he believed they will continue to develop slowly in the future. God willing, he planned on partnering with these incredible people for many years to come.
Vocalist Zac Brown added that the technology and research on treating ALS has advanced. But, they have yet to find a cure. He also saying thanks to fans for all prayers and help to cure ALS.
The video ends with the band promoting the #HopOnACure program, a nonprofit organization founded by Hopkins to benefit not only drug discovery, but also provide survivors with treatment plans and recovery efforts.
ALS here targets the nervous system. It is weakening muscles and limiting physical function. The Mayo Clinic describes ALS as “a progressive disease of the nervous system. Later, it affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in loss of muscle control.”
The causes are unknown and symptoms are various. But, muscle weakness that worsens over time is common in most cases. There is no cure for this disease.