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John Driskell Hopkins, founding member of the Zac Brown Band, has ALS, he says on video

John Driskell Hopkins, founding member and bassist of the country music group Zac Brown Band, says he was diagnosed with ALS.

Hopkins, 51, announced the diagnosis in a video posted on the band’s official YouTube channel on Friday. He told viewers he had “difficult news” to share.

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

Hopkins said for several years that he noticed balance issues and his hands would become stiff. He said he met with doctors and “after careful analysis by some of the best neurologists in the country, I was diagnosed with ALS.”

“Because my symptoms have been slowly progressing since the beginning,” Hopkins said, “we believe they will continue to progress slowly in the future.”

The video ends with a line of text to donate to ALS research and a “Hop on a Cure” message. Hopkins is sometimes referred to as “Hop”.

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

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

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