Judas Priest Create Glenn Tipton Charity Foundation
The illness, which forced Tipton to retire from the band’s touring lineup after being diagnosed 10 years ago, is thought to affect more than 6 million people, most of them 60 or older, and currently has no cure.
Confirming the establishment of the Glenn Tipton Parkinson’s Foundation, the guitarist said on Facebook that “it was the band that suggested we start a foundation which although in my name is really a Judas Priest foundation … 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.’”
Tipton said the band had decided to focus on one of the “many different aspects” of treating and researching the disease. “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,” he noted, adding that his own specialist, a leading expert in the area, was “very optimistic as to the positive results that are emerging.”
Funds will initially be raised with the sale of the shirts, while Tipton promised to provide updates in the coming months. He also addressed his regular guest appearances alongside his bandmates. “I am still doing some shows and joining the guys onstage for some songs and will carry on for as long as I can without compromising the band," he said. "So far when I walk on stage the audience reaction has been amazing, heart warming and quite emotional.”
He recalled that, after having noticed increased symptoms of Parkinson’s in recent years, it “wasn’t a shock” when he was finally diagnosed.
Judas Priest are currently touring Europe, with stateside dates to follow from August to September.