Singer Natalie Cole told CNN’s Larry King she is searching for a kidney after an illness caused both of her kidneys to fail.
Before she finished telling King Tuesday night about her battles with drugs, illnesses and her search for a kidney, dozens of e-mails flooded the CNN studio. They were all offers from people saying they would get tested to see whether their kidney could be donated. King handed a thick stack of paper to Cole. “These are all e-mails from dozens — dozens of people offering to be tested to see if they can match, who want to give you a kidney,” King said. Cole stared at the papers for a moment. “There are some great human beings out there. That’s all I can say,” Cole said. Watch Natalie Cole’s interview with Larry King » “I’m on a very long list, which is why we are looking to donors,” said Cole, the daughter of legendary crooner Nat King Cole. Cole said her kidney troubles date back to February 2008 when she was diagnosed with hepatitis C. Cole said she attributes the hepatitis C from her well-publicized struggles to stop using cocaine and heroin. Cole said she has been sober for some time now after two stints in a rehabilitation clinic.
Transcript: Read full version of interview with Natalie Cole
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Cole said she underwent chemotherapy in an aggressive way to fight the virus. Within four months of getting chemotherapy, both of Cole’s kidneys failed. “I couldn’t breathe. I — I went into — literally, my kidneys stopped functioning. They stopped, you know, processing the fluid that was starting to build up in my body.” Since then, Cole has been on dialysis three days a week and has been searching for a kidney, she told King in one of the first public interviews about the issue. Cole won six Grammy awards for her 1991 critically acclaimed album “Unforgettable … With Love ,” a jazzy tribute to her father. She won a Grammy this year for her new album “Still Unforgettable” and another Grammy for her work on another album.
Cole said that she has still been able to tour this year even with her kidney ailment. “I have been on dialysis in Istanbul, Milan, Indonesia, Manila, London. It’s — it’s amazing,” Cole said.