Q! listeners have rocked out and made Spirit of The West one of their all-time favourite bands. John Mann bravely went public a couple of years ago to share his diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease. And Alzheimer’s has hit him hard; Spirit of The West and Mann have announced their final gigs as a band.
Friends, family and fans of John Mann have set-up a Generosity page to raise funds to try an experimental Alzheimer’s treatment.
The band recently posted this on Facebook:
Since the announcement that John Mann has Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease I have been asked hundreds of times, “What can I do to help?” For the first time since John began trudging down this extremely challenging path, I can finally answer, “There is something you can do”. John and his wife Jill have fought this battle every step of the way with stubborn determination. They have taken every available measure in treatments and strategies. Here, at the end of 2015, they want to attempt a new treatment involving stem cell therapy. But this is a therapy that is not available in British Columbia. Everyone around Johnny knows it is a long shot, but it is a shot we absolutely must take. Jill has done much research and has found a treatment centre that will attempt such therapy. Each course of treatment can cost up to $50,000. This is where John’s fans and supporters come in. The history of John’s situation goes back quite a long time; before we all got the sobering news that our friend, 51 years old at the time, had Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease, we had watched him go through stage 3 colorectal cancer and fight it to victory. The story of his continued medical challenges would lay low the toughest soul, but he has soldiered through. As Christmas 2015 approaches, I personally ask you, on behalf of my band mates, to reach out to Johnny and give a little boost. This is one of those times when you can honestly make a big difference with a little donation. We have always been proud of our great, huge extended Spirit family of fans, who have always stuck by us. I know you’ll help. We have begun an “Indiegogo / Generosity” online campaign which accepts donations towards this cause, a cause that is dear to the hearts of so many who have revelled in the lavish beauty of the music that this fine artistic soul has given us.
On a personal note, thank you for being a brave voice and face for Alzheimer’s disease, John. My Mom has her own heartbreaking struggle and journey with dementia. I hope this experimental treatment can preserve the talents and abilities we know as your fans, and help keep the John Mann your family and friends know and love healthy for many more years to come.