September 8, 2014 8:35 pm
Updated: September 9, 2014 4:15 pm

John Mann, lead singer of Spirit of the West, diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s


WATCH: The front-man for the Canadian band Spirit of the West – has revealed he has  Alzheimer’s disease. And he’s only 51. Linda Aylesworth has the story. 

VANCOUVER – John Mann, the lead singer of Spirit of the West, has been diagnosed with early -onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

The singer posted a note on his website Monday morning, saying while this may come as a shock for many, it wasn’t for him.

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I’ve had my fears and suspicions, but I was remaining hopeful that there was some other cause for the problems I was experiencing.

He writes that hearing the news was a difficult blow and that he and his family have taken some time to try and absorb and deal with the diagnosis.

But this is not going to be the end of Mann’s career or Spirit of the West.

But I don’t want to spend any more energy trying to hide my symptoms. I don’t want to feel embarrassed. I want to accept what has happened and live. 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.

A statement on the band’s website reveals they have known about Mann’s condition for some time.

Mann has been using an iPad loaded with lyrics to prompt his memory during live shows.

WATCH: A look at some of Mann’s performances over the years, recorded on Global

The band is set to play a show in Revelstoke at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on Thursday.

Mann is only 51 years old and was also diagnosed with colon cancer five years ago.

He was born in Calgary but studied at Studio 58 in Vancouver before leaving to start Spirit of the West. He has acted in a number of plays and movies and released three solo albums.

Mann is married to Jill Daum and they have two children.

Spirit of the West was formed in 1983 and have produced 13 albums. One of their most popular songs, known as ‘Canada’s Unofficial National Anthem’, is Home For a Rest.

WATCH: The CEO of the Alzheimer’s Society explains more about early onset diagnoses of the disease

For more information visit the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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