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Scott MacIntyre: I Won't Let Kidney Failure Slow Me Down

Scott MacIntyre: I Won't Let Kidney Failure Slow Me Down
Scott MacIntyre
Zach Gray

10/20/2014 AT 03:45 PM EDT

Though doctors have given him just six months until his kidneys fail, American Idol's Scott MacIntyre refuses to let his illness slow him down.

"There is a lot of uncertainty about the immediate future, as you can imagine," MacIntyre tells PEOPLE of being diagnosed with kidney failure. "But for now, I'm still very mobile and I'm going to continue to perform and speak as long as I have the strength to do so."

This is not the first time MacIntyre has faced a health crisis. The season 8 Idol contestant, 29 – who was born blind – had to undergo a kidney transplant at the age of 22 after he was diagnosed with kidney failure in his late teens.

"I think the more challenges that I've been through in my life, each one helps prepare me for the next," says the singer, who calls the kidney donated by a family friend "an amazing gift."

He says, "It allowed me to go on Idol, tour around the world and to get married. Unfortunately, transplanted kidneys don't last forever."

If MacIntyre does not receive a kidney before his current ones cease to function, he says he will be forced to go on dialysis – a prospect he is not looking forward to.

"I had to go on dialysis while I was waiting to see if I got my kidney the first time around," he says. "Going on dialysis would change a lot about what I am able to do. I would not be able to perform or work, really, until a kidney was found. Dialysis is life-preserving, but it is a bad quality of life."

And MacIntyre is not the only one that is affected by his illness.

"This is my wife Christina's first time going through this with me. It is definitely a learning experience for us, but we really feel good about things," says MacIntyre. "We are trying to support each other through it and she has just been amazing at holding me up and helping me through this step by step."

MacIntyre has also been turning to his faith for support as he continues to tour and promote his new album, Lighthouse.

"The title really sums it up for me," MacIntyre says. "Many times when I have been dealing with uncertainty and change in my life, I hold on to hope in the midst of a circumstance that can seem hopeless. I'm a Christian, so that hope for me many times has been my faith in God. I look at God as a lighthouse."



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