Nicko McBrain, the renowned drummer of IRON MAIDEN, recently disclosed that he faced a stroke earlier this year
In a statement posted on IRON MAIDEN‘s official website, the 71-year-old musician confirmed the occurrence of this medical incident. He revealed that the stroke had temporarily paralyzed one side of his body, and he admitted being concerned about the potential impact on his career with the band.
McBrain‘s statement reads: “I hope this message finds you all well!
“The reason I’m writing to you all today is to let you know of a very serious health problem that I have been through. In January I had a stroke, thank the Lord it was a minor one referred to as a TIA. It left me paralyzed on my right side from my shoulder on down, of course I was very worried that my career was over but with the love and support from my wife, Rebecca and family, my doctors, especially Julie my OT (Occupational Therapist),and my IRON MAIDEN family I was able to bounce back to somewhere near 70% recovered. After 10 weeks of intense therapy it was almost time to start rehearsals for our tour.
“I feel it’s important to let you know about this now instead of earlier as I was mainly concerned with doing my job and concentrating on getting back to 100% fitness. I’m not there yet but by the grace of God I’m getting better and stronger as the weeks go by.
“Thank you all for a most wonderful and magical tour so far, you have all been so amazing.
“Well that’s it from me. God bless you all, stay safe and well and I look forward to seeing you all somewhere in time. 🙂 :-)”
IRON MAIDEN manager Rod Smallwood added: “The rest of the band and l think that what Nicko has been able to achieve since his stroke shows incredible belief and willpower and we are all very proud of him. With this new and musically very complex set to learn ahead of him, he just got his head down and concentrated on recovery. We honestly did not know if he would be able to play a whole show until band rehearsals started in May and there was just so much support for him from the band and then genuine relief for all when we saw he was going to be able to do it!
“Nicko being Nicko he did not want to make a fuss and cause any distraction to the tour at the time but, now that he is sure he will soon get there, he thought you fans should know straight from him rather than by any rumours! We are all of course delighted he battled through this so well and look forward to many more tours together starting with the three Western Canada shows and Power Trip in California coming up in a couple of months time. We can’t wait! This tour is that good!”
In 2020, Nicko McBrain, who is now 71 years old, received the diagnosis of stage 1 laryngeal cancer. He discussed it publicly in a single interview in 2021 but mostly kept it private otherwise. The cancer was detected during an endoscopy conducted at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Miami Health System and the Miller School of Medicine. Promptly after the diagnosis, McBrain underwent surgery to remove the cancer, and he now undergoes regular check-ups every few months to ensure there is no recurrence.
The cancer was located in a section of his vocal cords. Remarkably, McBrain is not the first member of IRON MAIDEN to conquer cancer. In late 2014, Bruce Dickinson, the band’s lead singer, was diagnosed with throat cancer. He had a golf ball-sized tumor on his tongue and another in a lymph node on the right side of his neck. However, after nine weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Dickinson received the all-clear in May 2015.