Memphis, TN — From Billy Blackwood of The Blackwood Brothers Quartet …
Dear Friends of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet,
Many of you know about the odyssey we have been on with the news of Mike Helwig’s diagnosis of ALS last year. What began as some mobility issues and an earlier misdiagnosis of MS became the grim diagnosis of ALS on February 16th, 2016.
When Mike joined us four-and-a-half years ago we would have never imagined this future. He replaced my brother, Jimmy, which were huge shoes to fill, but he filled them and took off running, never looking back. It has been an honor to stand on the platform next to one of the greatest singers to ever sing a gospel song.
As his physical challenges have increased over the past year, we have adapted and done everything we know to do to accommodate his needs, seeking to extend the length of time he would be able to travel with us to it’s limits. Unfortunately, Mike has determined that he has reached those limits. Travel is difficult for a healthy person, much less someone with the challenges Mike faces just to get on and off the bus, shower, get dressed and perform, all without the use of his legs and confined to a wheel chair. His determination and dedication to his calling is astounding.
And so, we have come to that point we have been avoiding for the past year. Last Saturday was Mike’s final full concert with the Blackwood Brothers. On as positive a note as possible, Mike will continue to make special appearances with us as his health and our travel permits. We look forward to those special events when he can perform with us and we know that you, his fans and friends, will as well.
Please keep Mike and his wife, Leslie, their children, and us, his brothers in the Blackwood Brothers, in your prayers. We appreciate your friendship and support of our music ministry through all the years and into the future God has for us.
Billy Blackwood, mgr.
Blackwood Brothers Quartet