Natalie Cole Feeling Great With New Kidney

May transplant came thanks to anonymous donor

Friday, Aug 14, 2009  |  Updated 8:15 AM EDT
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Grammy-winner Natalie Cole is feeling better after getting a kidney transplant in May.

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Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole is  "really doing well" since getting a life-saving kidney transplant.

Cole, the 59-year-old daughter of Nat King Cole, told People magazine the donated organ, which she got in May, has given her a new lease on life. She spoke at Thursday's Harold Pump Foundation Gala in Beverly Hills to honor Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Bill Russell.

"It's remarkable what a new kidney does to your life," Cole said. "I have no complaints ... I'm pretty amazed. I have been working on my stamina."

Cole had her first hit in 1975, with "This Will Be," followed by "Sophisticated Lady " and others. She battled a drug problem in the 1980s, but resurfaced with a technology-aided duet with her late father in 1991's "Unforgettable."

Cole doesn't know where the kidney came from, but she said, "I'm thankful to the doctors, I'm thankful to the family that donated the kidney."  Cole was on dialysis for eight months before getting the kidney, which came from a family that specifically requested her as recipient. Cole is prevented from knowing who donated the organ.

"I don't know who they are. I have not met them, it's all anonymous," Cole said.  "That's what was so awesome, their family basically requested that the kidney go to me."

Cole said she would love to meet the family. "Absolutely, are you kidding?" she said. "I would probably kiss them all over the place."
 

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