Bassist John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) — also known as Lou Gehrig’s 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. While symptoms vary based on individual cases, it generally is recognized by muscle weakness that spreads and gets worse over time.’
The 51-year-old Hopkins, who is a founding member of the country band, stood beside his bandmates in an Instagram video while sharing the diagnosis: “I have tough news to share. 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’ve 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.”
Hopkins has since launched the ‘Hop on a Cure; foundation to help search for a cure. Lead singer Zac Brown explained in the social media video: “The technology and research around ALS treatments has been advancing, but we still don’t have a cure. Thanks so much for your prayers and helping us cure ALS.”
Hopkins — who shares three daughters with wife Jennifer Hopkins — is currently performing with the band on their “Out in the Middle” tour. The Zac Brown Band is also comprised of musicians including Coy Bowles, Clay Cook, Daniel De Los Reyes, Jimmy De Martini, Chris Fryar and Matt Mangano.
Editorial credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com