Musician John Driskell Hopkins founded Hop On A Cure following his December 2021 diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Hopkins is widely known as a member of the multi-GRAMMY-winning country music group Zac Brown Band and as a songwriter and performer in his own right. He launched Hop On A Cure to increase awareness of ALS and raise funds for new research into ways to treat ALS, which currently has no known cure.
This week, Hop On A Cure announced the awarding of its first grant — $100,000 to the Healey Center to fund the development of effective therapies, identify cures and, ultimately, prevent the disease.
“We are incredibly grateful for this important funding from Hop On A Cure,” says James Berry, MD, MPH, neurologist at the Healey Center, Winthrop Family Scholar in ALS Sciences, Averill Healey Endowed Chair in ALS and director of the MGH Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI). “The support will bolster our evaluation of ALS biomarkers to help explain ALS biology and identify new therapeutic targets. It will also expand our studies using digital data and artificial intelligence to quantify ALS symptoms and hasten trials.”
Hop On A Cure founder John Driskell Hopkins’s support was inspired by his experience as a patient of the Healey Center.
“My wife Jennifer and I feel at home at the Healey Center. Dr. James Berry and his team go above and beyond to make their patients feel safe and welcome,” Hopkins says. “They take the patient’s care into consideration on a very personal level and bring an open mind when discussing potential treatments and ideas. I’ve often said about arriving at the center, ‘I hate going up this elevator, but I love coming down this elevator.’ Somehow, I always feel comforted when I’m leaving.”