With big pipes and an even bigger smile, Angelica Hale couldn’t have predicted her journey from kidney transplant recipient to kid superstar - but just last year she was not only runner up on America’s Got Talent but also the undisputed champion of global hearts! The National Kidney Foundation could not be more proud to partner with the singing phenom, and total inspiration, as our very first NKF Kid Ambassador.
We often talk about the millions of adult patients impacted by kidney disease, but the sad truth is that many children are also affected by the disease. That’s why, for 2018, we are focusing a new awareness campaign on kids & kidney disease - starting with our partnership with Angelica Hale.
Why Angelica? The better question might be why not Angelica? We couldn’t think of a better partner, or a better kid for that matter! Angelica’s kidney story started 6 years ago, when, at 4 years old, she developed a bacterial infection in her lungs that would develop into double pneumonia and cause her to go septic, destroying her kidneys and ravaging her body. After an 80-day battle at the hospital, Angelica pulled through and returned home to her family. But, the fight wasn’t over, as Angelica still had a long way to go to get her strength back and her kidneys on track. More than a year of dialysis passed before the family found out that Angelica’s mother, Eva, was a perfect match. In 2013, mother and daughter underwent surgery and Angelica woke up with a new kidney and new permanent connection to Eva.
Angelica has already lived a lifetime before she turned double-digits, but that didn’t stop her from setting her sights on the future. Her long-standing love for singing became a new opportunity to express herself, heal, and get back to fighting strength! In 2017, Angelica auditioned for America’s Got Talent and got the Golden Buzzer - making her an early fan-favorite and an eventual runner up. Sure, her story is one for the books, but it was her pure talent that set our Kid Ambassador apart from the competition and won her a place in America’s heart.
When she isn’t advocating for kidney patients, Angelica is working on her own music and is always making sure to show her kidneys some love with daily hydration, healthy eating, and staying active. She knows that it takes talent to hit the high notes, but it takes heart to put your health, and your kidneys, first!
Check out Angelica’s starring role in our Heart Your Kidneys PSA below and make sure to heart your kidneys and treat yourself like the star you are because our kid ambassador puts it best: “Whatever you are good at, there’s only one you!”