Swedish keyboardist Jens Johansson of multi-national melodic metallers Stratovarius has issued the following update:
“Dear Stratovarius fans, I am afraid we have some quite terrible news. News of the worst imaginable kind. It’s about our friend and drummer Jörg Michael.
Jörg has cancer!
“He recently discovered a lump on his neck, went to the doctor, they decided to operate, and found what they call ‘a malignant thyroid neoplasm.’ They took out his whole thyroid just to have the best chance to get everything out. He will also have to undergo a regimen of radiotherapy.
“He is a fighter. We have all talked to him and it’s clear that this guy is not down for the count. He and his team of German doctors are pissed off and ready to kick ass, and I would not want to be a little cancer cell on these guys’ shit list.. believe me.
“Jörg and his family (and us guys in the band) found this out only last week, after the operation. Naturally we are all going between a lot of emotions, sadness, worry, shock, confusion, even anger.
“As for Stratovarius, as you perhaps know, there is a long tour coming up with Helloween, and with the surgery and therapy that will now follow there is no way Jörg can do the first part of the tour. For me personally, I at first felt quite hopeless about the tour, because I was so upset about all this news. But Jörg himself has been extremely clear that he does not want the band to cancel a single show because of this. In the end, this is what made at least me feel better about going back hitting the road next week.
“So, we have debated what to do for many days now. Jörg first suggested my brother Anders to do this November-December 2010 leg, but it turns out Anders will, unfortunately, be busy recording some record or other with that little indie cellar band of his called Hammerfall.