Spirit of the West will be retiring after two shows next April in Vancouver as frontman John Mann’s struggle with early onset Alzheimer’s is making performing increasingly difficult.
Now his friends and family are asking for fans’ help in funding experimental stem cell therapy that might make his time more enjoyable.
New treatments like this aren’t covered by Canada’s national health care system, and new therapies aren’t cheap. A crowdfunding effort has been established on Generosity.com and, as of Dec. 15, more than $45,800 had been raised toward a $50,000 USD total in just eight days. The $50,000 will cover one round of therapy, the site notes.
“He knows he is in the cross-hairs of that dreaded disease and wants, as we all would, to get better if possible, and preserve what he still has, no matter what it takes,” his family writes on the site. “John is an award winning musician, songwriter, a beloved actor of stage and screen, and an indefatigable supporter of many charities. He, his wife, family and friends now wish to pursue what is frankly a last chance treatment so that every possibility has been exhausted, and every reasonable attempt has been made to prolong his life.”