Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder visits U of M children's hospital; brings doctor on stage


Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder gave a shoutout to the University of Minnesota during his concert at the Xcel Energy Center Sunday night for its efforts to find a cure for a life-threatening skin condition that affects children.

Vedder is a founding member of the EB Research Partnership, a nonprofit that's dedicated to finding a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a group of rare skin conditions that affects children from birth.

People with EB lack a protein that binds the layers of skin together and without it the skin tears apart, blisters and shears off, which leads to severe pain, disfigurement and wounds that never heal, EB Research Partnership says.

About 75 minutes into Pearl Jam's concert, Vedder introduced Dr. Jakub Tolar, who helps head the U of M Masonic Children's Hospital EB research. Some of the band had spent Saturday touring the facility, so Vedder showed Tolar around the stage, the Star Tribune reports.

Some of the funding raised by the EB Research Partnership will go to Tolar's work. The U of M is the first and only place that offers blood and marrow transplants as treatment for severe types of EB, according to the U's website, and Tolar is working to advance gene and cellular engineering research, which have the potential to transform the quality of life for people with EB, a news release says.

EB patients, like Charlie Knuth (pictured below) went to the concert and hung out with Vedder after the show, the EB Research Partnership says.

On Saturday, while touring the U of M Children's Hospital, Vedder met with patients and doctors.

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Vedder also gave a shoutout to the Gopher football team during the concert. The Gophers beat Purdue 39-38 in Saturday's homecoming showdown.

Star Tribune reporter Michael Rand said of Vedder's words:

"That’s right: The Gophers football team is riding such a high that they got a shout out from one of the greatest lead singers from one of the greatest bands of our generation. And from the sound of it, Vedder made no reference to 4th-and-20 or any other football that happened Sunday. Good man, Eddie. Good man."

Vedder also showed some support for the Minnesota Wild:

More on Vedder's efforts to support EB research:

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