Legendary Country Music Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins Shares ALS Diagnosis

John Driskell Hopkins, the founding member of the Zac Brown Band, has announced his ALS diagnosis. The 51-year-old musician admitted the news was hard for the band’s fan base.

Legendary Country Music Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins Shares ALS Diagnosis

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“I have tough news to share, and my brothers and sister have gathered to support me,” he said in the minute-long clip, which was also posted on the band’s Twitter account.

“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. Because my symptoms have been slow-progressing from the start, we believe 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.”

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Lead singer Zac Brown added, “The technology and research around ALS treatments have been advancing, but we still don’t have a cure. Thanks so much for your prayers and helping us cure ALS.”

The clip ended with the group promoting the #HopOnACure program, a nonprofit founded by Hopkins to benefit not only finding a cure but providing treatment plans and recovery efforts for survivors. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is named after the former New York Yankee great who was forced to retire in 1939 due to the debilitating disease after playing for the team for 17 seasons.

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Gehrig retired at the age of 36 and died two years later. ALS targets the nervous system, weakening muscles and limiting physical function. 

The Mayo Clinic describes ALS as a “progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control.” The cause is unknown, and symptoms can vary. However, muscle weakness that worsens overtime is common in many cases. There is no cure for the disease.

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