(hennemusic) Judas Priest have launched the Glenn Tipton Parkinson’s Foundation in honor of their guitarist who is suffering from the degenerative neurological disorder.
Tipton announced his retirement from the road earlier this spring following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease four years ago that has affected his ability to play guitar; the rocker personally chose “Firepower” album co-producer Andy Sneap to take over his touring duties, while managing to make several appearances during the group’s spring trek across North America and their current run across Europe.
“As you probably know by now, I’ve had to pull out of the current Priest tour due to ill health,” explains Tipton. “I am still doing some shows and joining the guys on stage for some songs and will carry on for as long as I can without compromising the band. So far when I walk on stage the audience reaction has been amazing, heart warming and quite emotional…….
“I knew that something was wrong as my co-ordination and speed were affected and have both been slowly getting worse over the last ten years. Accordingly, when I was diagnosed it wasn’t really a shock. Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott are playing better than ever and Andy is doing a really great job – they have all given me so much support.”
“It was the band that suggested we start a foundation which, although in my name, is really a Judas Priest foundation,” continues the rocker. “We are selling t-shirts with the slogan ‘No Surrender’ (a track off the latest album) which is very appropriate considering the determination you have to summon up to get on with life and beat this illness – it’s the sort of thing that always happens to ‘someone else’
“There are many Parkinson related charities were we could send the funds we raise to which deal with the many different aspects of this disease both physically and mentally – but what really excites me is a brand new pioneering treatment called MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy, which although in its early stages has already had great success with a Parkinson’s related condition called essential tremor. Dr Bain, my specialist who is one of the leading experts in this field, and his colleagues are now turning their attention to treating Parkinson’s patients with this state of the art MR scanners and are very optimistic as to the positive results that are emerging.”