Natalie Cole Celebrates Life with a Post-Surgery Concert
06/09/2009 AT 05:00 PM EDT
Cole, who was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2008, also conveyed her "deepest appreciation and gratitude" toward her fans for the support she has received since the transplant and the death of her elder sister, Carole Cole, from lung cancer on May 19, the same day as Natalie Cole's surgery.
"My family and I want to express our extreme appreciation for the outpouring of kindness we have received from all over the country," Cole said in a statement Tuesday. "In the midst of sorrow I am still able to celebrate my new lease on life. There is always a silver lining. I thank God for this golden kidney and I look forward to going back to work in the fall. I will see you in the music."
Cole's kidney came from a deceased organ donor through One Legacy, an organ procurement agency. At the direction of her physician, the singer will spend the summer months recuperating. Earlier dates for her Still Unforgettable tour, originally planned to begin June 5, will be rescheduled.