John Driskell Hopkins (Hop) of Zac Brown Band has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Hopkins, a founding and active member of the award-winning group revealed the news to fans via a video message on Friday, May 20.
“I have tough news to share and my brothers and sister have gathered to support me,” he somberly shared in the clip featuring his ZBB bandmates, as well as tourmate Caroline Jones, by his side. “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.”
He went on to share his hope for his future, telling fans, “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.”
The group encouraged their followers to help “Hop On A Cure” by texting Hop to 345-345 or by visiting http://hoponacure.org. Hop On A Cure is a foundation established by Hopkins to help fund research to make ALS a “thing of the past.”
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, according to als.org.
There is currently no cure for ALS and no effective treatment to halt or reverse the progression of the disease. According to Hop On A Cure, the life expectancy of those affected by ALS 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.
Additional information about John Driskell Hopkins’ Hop On A Cure can be found HERE.