Marvin Gaye III is battling renal failure and is making a public campaign of it to encourage Blacks and Hispanics to donate organs more, reports the Associated Press. He said that he is in need of a kidney transplant due to the medical condition and has become acutely aware of the challenges people face while on a transplant list.
Gaye, the eldest son of the late soul singer Marvin Gaye, mentioned that he had the disease in an interview with TMZ, saying that Robin Thicke's preemptive lawsuit against the singer's estate was a distraction to his health.
"[It's] caused my family a lot of duress — and myself, also. I'm under kidney failure as well as I'm promoting my own album, so I have a lot of better things to do than to be sitting here trying to defend my father's legacy, which I'm glad to do because that's my position in the family," Gaye said.
The disease can be fatal due to the kidney's role of helping the body to eliminate waste.
"African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics/Latinos are three times more likely than caucasians to suffer from end-stage renal disease, often as the result of high blood pressure and other conditions that can damage the kidneys," reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Almost 35 percent of the more than 95,000 people on the national waiting list for a kidney transplant are African-American."
Gaye said his album, as yet unnamed, is an opportunity to raise funds and awareness. He plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to a kidney research organization.
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(Photo: Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage)