Friends, fans and supporters of popular Asheville blues/jazz singer Kat Williams are rallying around her to help raise money for a kidney transplant. Williams announced last week that she’s been suffering from renal disease. A crowdfunding effort for Williams has raised more than $15,000 so far.
Here’s the press release:
A large group of friends, musicians and Asheville area community members have joined together as “Friends of Kat Williams” to lend support for the iconic blues and jazz singer as she battles End Stage (stage 5) kidney disease.
A “Save Kat Campaign” will be launched Thursday, Aug. 21 at 5 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville. Williams, who lives in Asheville, is a well-known and widely admired singer who has garnered a large number of accoades, friends, and fans over the years. Known for her throaty, full-range and lively blues and jazz performances, her career includes an Emmy nomination, an appearance on the Tonight Show, performances up and down the East Coast, and a popular yearly performance of the Star Spangled Banner during Asheville’s Fourth of July fireworks.
Quietly, she has also donated performances free to scores of fundraisers for area non-profit organizations. Now, say Friends of Kat Williams, it is time to give back to her. A recent announcement notes that Williams has battled the disease privately for some time. But her kidney function has decreased to 13 percent, making it impossible for her to perform, and putting her on a critical path to get on a list for a kidney transplant if a donor match can be found.
Her support group says that doctors at the Mountain Kidney and Hypertension Association in Asheville are working with the Duke Kidney Transplant Program and Emory University Healthcare Kidney Transplant program in hopes of getting her on the transplant list soon. The goal of the “Save Kat” campaign is to: find a donor; assist Williams with transportation and lodging to and from Emory Hospital in Atlanta and Duke University Hospital; and help with medical costs of the transplant, anti-rejection medicines, and living expenses so she can return to serving the community.
Says Williams: “It’s very hard for me to say, but I need help from my community.”