Mike McCready On Why ‘Love’ From Pearl Jam Has Helped Keep Him In Band Despite Disease

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Last week, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready did a Twitter Q&A for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. McCready has Crohn’s disease and has been an advocate for charitable IBD causes. He said that Pearl Jam has been very supportive, and he has never considered quitting the band.

“No, never really considered quitting or not touring because of IBD. The band has always been very supportive!”

“I did quit Shadow in 1987 when I first got sick! But never thought about quitting Pearl Jam.”

“My band Pearl Jam has always been very understanding and loving through my struggles!”

“At festivals we now have bathrooms on stage if we can. The crew is always very helpful in this!”

Read his answers from the Q&A below.

Ashley ignited our journey into the solution of pain and suffering caused by IBD, so I thank her again! #IBDvisible

Last but not least I need to thank my awesome wife Ashley who was tired of me complaining about my disease! #IBDvisible

I also want to thank Chris Adams @listenhearmedia who is always positive and a great role model for me and other IBD patients. #IBDvisible

@RolfBenirschke Rolf helped open the world of CCFA to me and I’m appreciative of that. #IBDvisible

I want to thank @RolfBenirschke for being an early leader and voice for those who didn’t have one years ago. #IBDvisible

@MikeMcCreadyPJ @CCFA For me, it also made me realize there’s a time limit. You could lose everything in an instant, so don’t wait around.

@JenniferMuhs I like Kali, which is a form of Philippine martial arts. I also do some weighs and work out in the sauna. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A11.6: I define who I am in spite of the pain and suffering. I am worthy of compassion, strength, love, humor and life. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A11.5: The best advice is to not let #Crohns disease or ulcerative #Colitis define you! #IBDvisible

@CCFA A11.4: This helps us not feel isolated and ashamed but empowered and alive and valued as humans! #IBDvisible

@CCFA A11.3: Camp Oasis for kids and any number of ways to reach out to others that have Crohns or Colitis. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A11.2: There is Team Challenge, Luncheons, Concerts, Movie Nights & Flag Football Tournaments. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A11.1: My advice is this. Get hooked up with a chapter of CCFA and get involved. #IBDvisible

@MikeMcCreadyPJ @CCFA Just because I’m not in hospital right now doesn’t mean I’m fixed! Or if I go to a concert, that I’m feeling better

@courtjboyer @CCFA You’re welcome. I wish you good health…

@CCFA The more awareness we create, the closer we will be to a cure. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A10.2: Awareness helps comfort fellow patients by shedding light and answers to these diseases. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A10.1: It’s important to raise awareness because the pain and suffering is REAL for #Crohns and #Colitis sufferers. #IBDvisible

@NbsBill Best of luck with your mom!

@AngelKatzzz Haven’t kept track, but dozens for sure! Usually comes with extreme pain, blood and mucous. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A9.4: My hope is that everyone with IBD finds compassion and that they have access to a restroom when needed. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A9.3: It frustrates me when stores or businesses don’t allow people to use the bathroom in an emergency. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A9.2: People of authority don’t always believe kids who say they have to use the bathroom many times a day. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A9.1: The biggest misconception is that since people with IBD don’t always look sick some don’t believe they actually are #IBDvisible

@lirpa_mc @CCFA Fortunately, I have had to deal with bad fatigue for a while. But getting enough rest is very important. #IBDvisible

@NbsBill Maybe get a referral from your IBD doctor? I think it can help… #IBDvisible

@CCFA A8: It’s caused intense anxiety, low self-esteem, anger & fear. But I’ve also found strength, self-confidence & compassion #IBDvisible

@BlueHenBrittany People will talk when they are ready. I didn’t speak publicly for nearly 15 years. I hope that changes. #IBDvisible

@shawnbethea_ @CCFA My hope is that everyone feels comfortable sharing their stories so we can come together to find a cure! #IBDvisible

@MikeMcCreadyPJ @CCFA I hid my diagnosis at first but I deff feel I would have benefited from sharing / knowing others with IBD #IBDVisible

@TheWienerQueen @MikeMcCreadyPJ @CCFA weight is a very common struggle. From losing to gaining (thanks prednisone) #IBDvisible

@vbopp8 Just eat what works and avoid what doesn’t. Every person is different, which is why IBD is so hard! #IBDvisible

@CCFA A7.2: Healing comes from shedding light on my disease and talking with others who have it. I didn’t have that back then. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A7.1: I wish I knew other people that had Crohn’s when I was first diagnosed. That would given me hope back then. #IBDvisible

@TheDisneyChef @CCFA I get frustrated when small business don’t allow bathroom access in an emergency! #IBDvisible

@MikeMcCreadyPJ @SemiColonGirl @CCFA I have a close family member with Ulcerative Colitis and it can be debilitatingly demanding at times.

@TheWienerQueen @CCFA Yes, for sure! I know many people who’ve struggled with their weight.

@CCFA A6.3: Over the years I’ve had bloody uncontrollable diarrhea on stage in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A6.2: Once I was stuck on a port-a-potty while the rest of @PearlJam played the 1st song opening for The @RollingStones #IBDvisible

@CCFA A6.1: I’ve had many embarrassing moments! #IBDvisible

@SemiColonGirl @CCFA Yes, running off stage is a huge indicator! I’ll also just go over and tell Eddie or Jeff and head out. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A3.3: It has also made me a better guitar player as I have used the pain to my advantage. That took a while to figure out. #IBDvisible

@shawnbethea_ @CCFA Good question! It’s not always easy. But I try to stay ahead of flares by taking my meds and eating right.

@CCFA A5.2: Eating right on the road can often prove difficult. Remembering to take my medication can be tough too. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A5.1: The hardest part of touring is knowing where a bathroom is & having accidents on stage, which sucks! #IBDvisible

@MikeMcCreadyPJ @GlennInvestor @CCFA Extremely important. Always have bathrooms mapped out ? #IBDvisible

@Shelby317 @CCFA Sometimes I can’t focus, but then I remember everyone else who is suffering and I channel that way.

@GlennInvestor @CCFA Yes, every single show. At festivals we now have bathrooms on stage if we can. The crew is always very helpful in this!

@CCFA A4.3: I am blown away and humbled by their generosity and commitment to this cause. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A4.2: They have supported my fundraisers & concerts to raise $$ and awareness. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A4.1: My band @PearlJam has always been very understanding and loving through my struggles! #IBDvisible

@CCFA A3.2: Crohn’s has made me a better person as I’m more compassionate and aware of life. #IBDvisible

@HeathurK27 @CCFA In my experiences, alcohol did make it worse. Everybody’s disease is different, which makes it so hard to predict.

@BlueHenBrittany @MikeMcCreadyPJ being positive is so important. #IBDvisible

@KidWithCrohns @CCFA Good question! It causes great anxiety, but I have to take it one day at a time. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A3.5: The kids at #CampOasis are also a source of inspiration and help me feel empowered! #IBDvisible

@CCFA A3.4: Taking my medications and working out regularly has helped me immensely. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A3.3: It has also made me a better guitar player as I have used the pain to my advantage. That took a while to figure out. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A3.2: Crohn’s has made me a better person as I’m more compassionate and aware of life. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A3.1: I’m not sure I’ve ever felt the same since having Crohns. #IBDvisible

@Laura51842431 Yeah, I worry about that constantly. That’s why I continue to work with @CCFA and the IBD community.

@ChicagoFanatics On second thought, I did quit Shadow in 1987 when I first got sick! But never thought about quitting @PearlJam

@CCFA A2.2: It was devastating and I moved back from LA and quit my band Shadow. I was very depressed for a while. #IBDvisible

@CCFA A2.1: I was scared what it meant to have Crohn’s & wondered if I could continue to play music or if I would get better #IBDvisible

@ChicagoFanatics No, never really considered quitting or not touring because of IBD. The band has always been very supportive!

@GlennInvestor @CCFA Not right now, but I may do another race at some point!

@LisaDani @CCFA Please give your son my best!

A1.3: Then came the blood and mucus. I hadn’t any symptoms before that moment. #IBDvisible

A1.2: About an hour later I had to urgently use the bathroom and I had intense abdominal pain. #IBDvisible

A1.1: I first realized I was sick in 1986. I was 22 living in Los Angeles and I had eaten fast food. #IBDvisible