Pearl Jam's Mike McCready to perform national anthem Friday, Sept. 16

Mike McCready, lead guitarist for Seattle rock band Pearl Jam, will perform the national anthem before the Seattle Mariners take on the Houston Astros on Friday, September 16 (7:10pm start). McCready's performance is part of the annual Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Night at Safeco Field.

"I'm very honored to be able to do the Star-Spangled Banner at a Mariners game because I'm a big fan and we have season tickets there and I know that they don't take that lightly, and it's generally done a certain way. It's good to know that the Mariners organization trusts me enough to be able to do it and know that it's done for the reasoning of raising awareness of Crohn's and colitis," said McCready.

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic auto-immune diseases of the digestive system known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD. It's estimated that 1.6 million people in the United States have the disease, 72,000 of them living in the five Northwestern states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

McCready was diagnosed at the age of 21, but it wasn't until 2002 that he revealed his struggle publicly.

Jennifer O'Connor, Executive Director of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Northwest Chapter, says McCready's willingness to talk about what is often a secretive and shameful condition, has helped bring it out of the shadows.

"His involvement has helped us raise funds, raise awareness, it helps bring in a lot of people as well. So every opportunity we have to raise more awareness about what Crohn's and colitis are, as well as what the organization can do for people with Crohn's and colitis, is a big win for us," said O'Connor.

Special group tickets for the game are available online only at Mariners.com/CCFA. Tickets are available for $22 and $41, with a portion of each ticket sold supporting CCFA. Fans who purchase tickets through the special offer will also receive a Mariners scarf that features a silhouette of McCready with his guitar. The deadline to purchase tickets through the special offer is 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 15.

O'Connor says in 2016, CCFA will invest over $30 million directly into research projects for new treatments and cures.

CCFA is the only non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Symptoms are painful and include rectal bleeding, intense abdominal cramping, fatigue, malnutrition and stunted growth in children and uncontrollable diarrhea. For more information on CCFA and/or inflammatory bowel disease, please visit CCFA.org.