Country music lovers are huddling around Alan Jackson after the artist revealed he was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a degenerative nerve condition. The Grammy-winning singer opened up about his heartbreaking condition to “Today” on September 28, telling host Jenna Bush Hager he was diagnosed with “this neuropathy and neurological disease” 10 years ago. “It’s genetic that I inherited from my daddy … it’s been affecting me for years,” Jackson candidly shared, saying his condition is “getting more and more obvious” now that he’s “having a little trouble balancing.”
Though Jackson clarified CMT is “not going to kill” him, he’s going to live with the disease for the rest of his life. “There’s no cure for it,” he shared. “It’s not deadly. But it’s related (to) muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.” According to the Mayo Clinic, CMT is an “inherited, genetic condition” that “occurs when there are mutations in the genes” and “affect the nerves in your feet, legs, hands, and arms. As Jackson noticed, he’s begun “stumbling around on stage” and “even in front of the microphone,” which has caused him to “feel very comfortable” performing. Despite the challenges that come along with CMT, Jackson said writing tunes and keeping traditional country music alive will continue to be his focus. “I’ve always believed that the music is the most important thing,” he shared. “That’s what I’d like to (leave) if I had a legacy.”
Of course, many fans sent messages of support following the interview. “Alan Jackson is very brave,” one person tweeted.