The 29-year-old requires a transplant within six months, which necessitates a living donor. Last week, he was officially accepted into Nashville-based Vanderbilt Hospital’s transplant program and is on a national waiting list. The average wait time is three to five years for a kidney from a deceased donor.
MacIntyre was first diagnosed with kidney failure when he was 19. He began emergency dialysis in November 2006. Ten months later, the wife of his former piano instructor at Arizona State University was discovered to be a match and donated a kidney. “She literally gave me the gift of life in the most tangible way,” says MacIntyre. “I’m so grateful to my first kidney donor for these past seven years of my life. Without that life-saving gift, I would never have been on American Idol, married my wife or been able to share my life story with so many people around the world. Unfortunately, transplanted kidneys can’t last forever, and now I’m facing the same life-threatening illness once again.”
The announcement of MacIntyre’s need for a second kidney transplant comes on the eve of the release of his new album, Lighthouse, a project funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. The album closes with “I Am Hope,” which has become an anthem for organ donation and will be featured at upcoming events for the National Kidney Foundation Walks in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston and Miami.
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.