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Pearl Jam Benefit Concert Supports Crohn's and Colitis Foundations

By (BI) Susanna Daniel

PORTLAND, Ore. -- UCB, Inc. announced today that it is joining forces with the Northwest Chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) in taking a stand on behalf of people with Crohn's Disease (CD), a chronic, debilitating, irritable bowel disease.

UCB, founders of www.CrohnsandMe.com -- a Web site focused on helping people thoroughly understand Crohn's disease and live with it -- will be the Platinum Sponsor for a Pearl Jam benefit concert on July 20 in Portland, Ore. to benefit the Northwest Chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).

In 2002, Pearl Jam guitarist, Mike McCready made public his 20-year battle with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and has since been committed to raising awareness about the disease, which can cause abdominal pain, fever and weight loss that can disrupt peoples' lives.

The benefit concert will take this subject, typically thought to be too delicate to discuss in public, out of the shadows and into the spotlight. McCready has been a spokesperson for the NW Chapter of CCFA and is also featured in a radio Public Service Announcement (PSA) released in January for the organization. The concert will benefit CCFA's search for a cure.

"Having struggled with Crohn's disease for more than 20 years and experienced first hand difficulties in getting a diagnosis and treatment, I want to help others learn about the disease, how it is affecting them and how to find ways to cope," said McCready.

Approximately 500,000 people in the U.S. have CD. However, people with CD are reticent to talk about their symptoms to healthcare providers, and therefore, often suffer for many years without a diagnosis or treatment.

The consequence of not receiving medical care can be progression of the disease leading to surgical removal of affected parts of the digestive system. Although there is no cure for the disease, patients can currently get treatments to reduce symptoms and guidance on how to manage them in their daily lives.

Those suffering from severe CD even go so far as to "bathroom map" -- scouting bathrooms in advance of basic outings to the grocery store, mall, or social activities because they never know when a severe attack will strike. This is not always easy when working or trying to lead a normal life. People report that CD has affected their emotional well-being and disrupted their educational pursuits, jobs and personal lives.

The Pearl Jam benefit concert will be held Thursday, July 20th at 8 p.m. at Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Comedian David Cross and other special guests will be on hand for an evening of comedy and music to support CCFA. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at http://www.ccfa.org/, or by phone at 503-224-4400.

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