Pearl Jam lead guitarist MIKE McCREADY has been suffering from Crohn's disease for more than 15 years.

The 37-year-old EVEN FLOW rocker went public with his story on 13 May (03) during a speech at the NORTHWEST CHAPTER of the CROHN'S + COLITIS FOUNDATION OF AMERICA's third annual MANY FACES OF HOPE luncheon in Seattle, Washington.

He says he found the courage to go public about his condition after meeting other people with Crohn's last autumn (02).

He explains, "The stories they told me were far worse than what I've experienced."

McCready says he wants to go public about his condition to show that despite the disease - a serious chronic and progressive inflammation of the colon - people with Crohn's can still have a life and a career.

The musician has been in remission for about eight months. However, there is no cure and patients must take medication and monitor their diet.

McCready says the disease sometimes strikes at exactly the wrong time, explaining, "Playing onstage, I'm always aware of where the bathrooms are. When Crohn's hits, I have to run, or it won't be pretty. It happened when we opened up for the Rolling Stones in 1997 in Oakland."

28/05/2003 09:15