Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins Opens Up About ALS Analysis – Billboard


Zac Brown Band bassist/vocalist John Driskell Hopkins is opening up about his current ALS analysis. Hopkins tells Individuals in a brand new interview that he first seen signs in 2019, when Zac Brown Band was taking part in reveals on The Owl tour. He realized he wasn’t in a position to play bass guitar fairly the best way he at all times had.

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“It wasn’t that I couldn’t play anymore, it was that I couldn’t play as quick,” he tells the publication. “My guitar hand was failing me.”

His speech was additionally often slurred and he had bother shifting across the stage.

In December 2021, he underwent an electromyography (EMG) take a look at, which resulted within the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) analysis. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative illness that impacts nerve cells within the mind and spinal twine, impacts the muscle groups that management consuming, strolling, talking and extra. Roughly 5,000 persons are identified with ALS every year.

“In my life, I’ve been scared, I’ve been offended, I’ve been confused,” Hopkins says. “However I don’t know that I’ve ever actually felt nervousness till that day.”

Hopkins and his spouse, Jennifer, determined to attend till after the Christmas holidays to inform their three daughters — Sarah Grace, 13, and twins Lily Religion and Margaret Hope, 10 — the information.

“Grace requested, ‘Might you die?’ I mentioned, ‘Sure.’ Religion mentioned, ‘Might you be in a wheelchair?’ I mentioned, ‘Sure.’ Hope began crying,” Hopkins remembers of the dialog. “They didn’t fairly perceive it, they usually nonetheless don’t, actually. However neither will we.”

On Might 20, Hopkins stood beside his Zac Brown Band bandmates to disclose to followers his analysis through a video message. In addition they introduced the launch of Hop on a Treatment, a basis aimed toward elevating cash to assist discover a remedy for ALS.

“Our imaginative and prescient is obvious,” Hopkins says. “We have to do every part we are able to to generate funds to remedy ALS.”

Hopkins says he’s benefiting from his vitality and skills to proceed touring and recording with Zac Brown Band, in addition to different initiatives, together with an upcoming fourth vacation album. In April, Zac Brown Band launched into their Out within the Center tour.

“One of many stunning issues about my situation, if God keen it stays the best way it’s for a few years, is I’ve the vitality and the presence to make a big effect,” Hopkins says. “I’m able to go. I can nonetheless play, I can nonetheless sing, I can nonetheless make data — and I need to do all that. I’m making an attempt to file every part I can within the occasion that sooner or later I won’t be capable of.”

He additionally mentioned he’s shifting ahead with hope, religion and dedication.

“I’m able to combat this illness,” Hopkins says. “I need to present my women what a warrior their dad is.”





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Zac Brown Band bassist/vocalist John Driskell Hopkins is opening up about his current ALS analysis. Hopkins tells Individuals in a brand new interview that he first seen signs in 2019, when Zac Brown Band was taking part in reveals on The Owl tour. He realized he wasn’t in a position to play bass guitar fairly…

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