Leah Greenblatt
June 02, 2009 AT 07:33 PM EDT

Exene Cervenka, the 53-year-old writer, musician and artist best known as the co-lead vocalist of L.A.’s iconic punk outfit X (currently on tour), announced today that she has been diagnosed with MS.

In a statement released today, she said, “After some months of not feeling 100% healthy, I recently had some medical tests run and the prognosis is that I am suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Apparently, it has been affecting me for quite some time. 

Although this is obviously unfortunate news, I am choosing to see the positive in it. I, and X as a band, have supported the Sweet Relief charity since the mid-1990’s; the irony of this is not lost on any of us.  Sweet Relief was started as an aide to uninsured artists by musician Victoria Williams when she herself was diagnosed with MS in 1992.

While this diagnosis will most certainly mean some changes for me, personally, it will not affect my commitments to the current X U.S. tour, nor will it affect my solo album that is slated for release this fall on Bloodshot Records.”

To learn more about Sweet Relief or to donate, click here. In the meantime, enjoy this bananas trip down memory lane — X appearing on David Letterman back in 1984:

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