John Driskill Hopkins, founding member of Zac Brown’s band, has ALS, says in the video

John Driskill Hopkins, founding member and guitarist of country music group Zack Brown Band, says he has been diagnosed with ALS.

Hopkins, 51, announced the diagnosis at A video Posted on the band’s official YouTube channel on Friday. He told viewers he had some “difficult news” to share.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that targets the nervous system, causing muscles to weaken and limiting physical function.

For several years Hopkins said he noticed problems with his balance and that his hands would become stiff. He said he met the doctors “and after careful analysis by some of the top neurologists in the country, I was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.”

“Because my symptoms have been slow to progress from the start, we think they will continue to progress slowly in the future,” Hopkins said.

The video ends with a text line for a donation to ALS research and a message to “Hop on a Cure.” Hopkins is sometimes called “Hope”.

“God willing, I plan to swing with these wonderful people for many years to come,” Hopkins said.

Zac Brown Band is currently on tour and dates are listed through November, according to them website.

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