Jody Abbott, Fuel Drummer, Dies After Health Struggles

Jody Abbott, the original drummer for the band Fuel, has died. Abott passed away on July 20 following a long battle with Huntington's disease, an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain and can affect movement, mood and thinking skills, per Mayo Clinic. He was 55.

Abbott's death was confirmed by the Huntington's Disease Society of America, which shared in a statement, "We are saddened today by the news of the passing of Jody Abbott... Our sincere condolences go out to Amy and their entire family." In a longer statement, per Loudwire, the HDSA noted that "today, there are approximately 41,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at risk of inheriting the disease," which is "a fatal genetic disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain that is described as having ALS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease all at once."

Abbott is best known as the original drummer for Fuel, the band he co-founded with lyricist and guitarist Carl Bell in 1989. The band was originally called Wanted, though it later changed from Phoenix and Reel Too Real to Small the Joy before officially becoming Fuel in 1996. Abbott played on the band's first four EPs – Small the Joy (1994), Fuel (1994), Porcelain (1996), and Hazleton (1998) – before leaving the band in 1998. Jonathan Mover replaced him.

Following his exit from Fuel, which came just before the band hit it big with their debut album, Sunburn, Abbott went on to continue his music career. He joined the band Breaking Point, which released their first album, Coming of Age, in 2001. Their tracks were included in movies such as The Scorpion King, Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, and Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge.

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In a statement following his death, Abbott's wife, Amy Abbott, encouraged others to get tested for Huntington's disease, sharing, "Be involved in your community. Seek out a support group. Volunteer for a fundraiser. There is so much knowledge out there and it is important to talk to people who have lived through this. They can commiserate, understand and offer support in times of need. I learn something new every time I attend an HD event, visit Jody's neurologist, or attend a support group meeting." Abbott, whose family had a history of Huntington's Disease, according to the HDSA, is survived by his wife and two children.