In a new interview with TODAY‘s Jenna Bush Hager, Alan Jackson revealed his diagnosis with a degenerative nerve condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Alan was diagnosed with the condition ten years ago, but never spoke publicly about his diagnosis until now.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, also known as CMT, is incurable. Although there is no cure, Alan said the condition is not fatal. It is something he will live with for the rest of his life:
“There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years,” he said. “And it’s getting more and more obvious. And I know I’m stumbling around on stage. And now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable.“
During his more difficult times, Alan has been able to lean on his wife, Denise, for support. The couple has been married for 41 years and have three daughters: Mattie, Ali, and Dani.
Years ago, Denise was experiencing her own health troubles. She was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010. Thankfully, Denise conquered the cancer, and is a survivor.
Now the roles are reversed, and Alan is the one dealing with health issues. Denise joined Alan at the end of his TODAY interview to speak about his condition and how she has helped him cope with it.
“…we lift each other up. When I’m down, he lifts me up, when he’s down, I try to lift him up,” Denise said.
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Denise went on to speak about the “other tragedies” she and Alan have dealt with over the course of their marriage, and how those tragedies have made them stronger. She said:
“You know, you just, you’re there for each other. But then again the happy side of that is we’ve had a fairytale life. In the midst of all those heartaches, and the sadnesses, and the sorrows, and disappointments we’ve lived a fairytale life.”
You can watch Alan’s full interview about his condition below. Denise joins him around the 21:10 mark in the video.
Both Alan and Denise are so strong. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.