March 27, 2019 12:04 pm

Art Alexakis, Everclear frontman, reveals multiple sclerosis diagnosis

Art Alexakis of Everclear performs at Jack's 10th Show at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on June 20, 2015 in Irvine, Calif.

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Everclear founder and frontman, Art Alexakis, revealed on Tuesday that he’s been diagnosed with the demyelinating disease, multiple sclerosis (MS).

The news came via a statement written on the rock band’s official website. Alexakis, 56, revealed that after a serious car accident three years ago, he went his doctor for an MRI after “feeling a tingle and numbness” in his arm.

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The MRI revealed that he had a pinched nerve in his neck as well as some “lacerations and suspicious marks” on his spinal cord. He proceeded to endure a series of MRIs, blood tests and other medical tests with a neurologist.

After receiving the results, Alexakis was told he has the most common form of MS — relapsing-remitting MS (or RRMS) — and that he has “had it for anywhere between 10 to 20 years.”

“I can feel the disease slowly growing in me,” he revealed. “I now have to give myself injections three times a week.”

However, Alexakis remained positive. “My neurologist says as long as I stay on the medication, I should live into my 80s without progression,” he said.

(L-R) Freddy Herrera, Jake Margolis, Art Alexakis and Dave French of Everclear perform during the Jack FM 13th annual concert at FivePoint Amphitheatre on Oct. 14, 2018 in Irvine, Calif.

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The statement continued: “The words ‘multiple sclerosis’ conjure up all sorts of images: helplessness, wheelchairs, pain, misery, and worst of all, hopelessness — and pity in the eyes of my family and friends (you get the picture).

“I remember later that night,” he continued, “my wife Vanessa holding my face in her hands, and telling me ‘we got this,’ with not a shred of pity or fear in her eyes.”

Alexakis accredited his longtime wife for giving him hope and reminding him “in that moment” that he is “a bad**s.”

“I knew then that I wasn’t going to go through this alone,” he added. “My wife is a lot of things — all good, but one thing she isn’t is fake. [That’s] something we have in common. We don’t do fake in our family.”

The singer admitted that after a short while his diagnosis “started making sense” to him as he has previously struggled with balance and gait problems.

“It helps explain why I don’t have the energy, vigour, and razor-sharp memory that I had ten years ago,” he added. “I thought it was just me getting older.”

He further reminded fans that he was diagnosed in 2016 and assured them that the disease had just “become another part of [his] life.”

“I have done amazing things in that time,” he said. “Touring four full tours with Everclear, in addition to another 250 plus shows all around the world, and I’m still going strong.

So, if you see me stumbling, sweaty, looking both tired and anxious at the same time,” he concluded, “please know that I have not fallen off the wagon. I am just learning how to be the new me.”

Art Alexakis of Everclear performs in concert as part of Summerland Tour 2014 at ACL Live on July 9, 2014 in Austin, Tex.

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Alexakis’ full statement can be found on the official Everclear website.

Outside of a few festival dates in the spring, Everclear has no scheduled shows as of this writing.

Before embarking on an extensive solo tour throughout the U.S. Alexakis is completing work on his upcoming debut solo album, Sun Songs (2019).

Sun Songs is expected to drop sometime in the summer.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

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