Published Sep 08, 2014Spirit of the West singer John Mann is just 51 years old, but he's sadly been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
The Vancouver vocalist revealed the diagnosis in an open letter on his official website. Mann wrote that he wasn't shocked to learn that he has the disease, since he had been experiencing symptoms of dementia. The Globe and Mail reports than the diagnosis was made a year ago.
Despite the sad news, Mann has promised to continue writing and performing music for as long as he is able. He wrote, "I will continue to make music and I will continue to do shows. I need to use an iPad now to help with the lyrics and for my solo shows, either Al Rodger or Tobin Frank will accompany and support me with their diverse and abundance of talents."
What's more, Spirit of the West will remain active. He explained, "My Spirit of the West bandmates have circled me with care and we will forge ahead as we've been doing the last 30 sum odd years with humour and friendship, playing our hearts out. I will continue to write and tour, because this is what I do and what I love."
In addition to being a member Spirit of the West, Mann has released three solo albums and has worked as an actor in film and theatre. He is married to Jill Daum, with whom he has two children. Mann previously beat colorectal cancer, which is currently in remission.