Natalie Cole opens up about heroin use and hepatitis C
Ten-time Grammy winner Natalie Cole writes her harrowing personal story in the May issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.
The singer speaks frankly about past drug use, contracting hepatitis C, interferon treatment, chemotherapy, her ongoing battle with kidney failure and waiting for an organ donor.
"In my younger, hell-raising days, I was an active drug user and heroin was my drug choice. There are several ways to use it: Some inhale or 'snort' it, some give themselves a shot, and some inject it directly into their veins. ... I did the latter."
It's needle use that her doctors believe led her to contracting hepatitis C. Anyone who has ever used contaminated needles for drug use, gotten a tattoo, or received a blood transfusion could easily contract this disease,
She recently underwent treatment to eradicate the HCV virus. "It is absolutely one of the most debilitating and difficult experiences that could ever happen to a human being."
She was left feeling like a "very fragile old lady" but still went on tour despite then being diagnosed with kidney failure. She is hooked up to a dialysis machine three days a week, three hours a day, and waits for a kidney donor. Her son offered his kidney a short time ago, but he was not a match.
"I am hoping for a kidney transplant, but at the moment, where it is coming from, heaven only knows. And yet I don't believe God has brought me this far to leave me."
We feel the same way, Natalie. Hang in there.
Prayers and love from The Dish Rag.
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Photo: Natalie Cole at the 2009 Grammy Awards. She sure looks beautiful for being in such ill health. Good luck, Natalie!