Brent Woods, who plays guitar in Sebastian Bach‘s solo band, has been diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia called hairy cell leukemia (HCL).
Woods revealed his health battle in a Facebook post earlier today (Monday, November 9).
He wrote: “This is NOT a sympathy post but more of an awareness post. I haven’t told many people about this but the word has spread a bit and I’m getting a lot of concerned messages. I don’t post much but felt this is the easiest way to respond to everyone.
“Yes, I was recently diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia called HCL. Approximately 1,200 people are diagnosed every year, it’s not hereditary and experts say they don’t know how one gets it.
“I start chemotherapy treatment today.
“I want everyone that reads this post to please go get your bloodwork done. I had NO idea I had this until I did. I had NO symptoms whatsoever. In fact , the only reason I got my bloodwork done was because I went to get a covid antibody test in May and my Dr. said ‘It’s been a while since we’ve seen all your bloodwork, so while you’re here let’s do it all’. I did and it showed a lot of my levels were alarmingly low. After months of testing, treatments and bone marrow biopsies with my hematologist, I was diagnosed with leukemia.
“I’m fortunate to have great medical insurance and I know some of you don’t have insurance at all but it doesn’t cost much to get your bloodwork done. It could possibly not only save your life but save you a lot of money in the long run.
“GO GET YOUR BLOODWORK DONE!!!
“As for me, I’m going to kick the shit out of this thing!!! I refuse not to!!!”
According to Cancer Treatment Centers Of America, HCL is caused when bone marrow makes too many B cells (lymphocytes), a type of white blood cell that fights infection. As the number of leukemia cells increases, fewer healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are produced. This type of leukemia gets its name from the way the cells look under the microscope — with fine fragments that make them look “hairy.”
Born and raised in Burbank, California, Woods started playing the guitar at the age of 12 and was a student of the legendary Randy Rhoads. He was signed to Capitol Records in 1990 with his Los Angeles-based group WILDSIDE. Brent has played and performed guitar for artists such as Vince Neil of MÖTLEY CRÜE, as well as Tony– and Emmy Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth from the Broadway musical “Wicked”. He has also worked on many films and TV shows.