Chicago co-founder, saxophonist and flutist Walt Parazaider, has revealed he is battling Alzheimer's disease. The 76-year-old musician has been off the road with the band since 2017 due to heart issues, and reached out via the official ChicagoTheBand.com website informing fans of his situation.
Walt Parazaider's message to fans regarding his Alzheimer's diagnosis:
So many of you have been very kind over the years with birthday and well wishes, I want to share some news with you before you saw rumors on the Internet. Five months ago, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Needless to say, my wife, daughters and myself were shocked and devastated. It has taken a while to process this news and the fact is, we still are.
The good news is we have a wonderful medical facility here and I have a very good doctor. I am working hard and not going to give up. With new treatments and therapy, along with my family's love and support, I feel very positive about the future. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I wish you and your families all the best in 2021 and always.
Not too long ago, Walt Parazaider explained that from the get-go, Chicago was built to be a special kind of musical experience: “This was gonna be where the horns were an integral part, and it was, basically, going to be a rock n' roll band with horns — although they called us everything from a jazz-rock group. . . I'd rather call us a romantic acid-rock group with rock n' roll tendencies, whatever it is. But, y'know, but that's how the group was started.”
Walt Parazaider On Chicago’s Origins :