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Rapper P.O.S. readies return to stage following kidney transplant

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A favorite Minnesota rapper will return to performing this weekend following a year-long absence related to kidney disease followed by kidney transplant surgery in March.

The Star Tribune's Vita.Mn reports that Doomtree hip-hop collective co-founder Stefon Alexander, who performs as P.O.S., will perform in what the paper called "a warm-up gig Friday in Moorhead," before returning to the stage with Doomtree Saturday at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, performing on a bill with Trampled by Turtles.

On his Facebook page, hundreds of P.O.S's fans are welcoming him back and sending wishes for his continued good health.

Alexander, 32, the father of two sons, gave what he termed a “tester” performance with Doomtree two weekends ago at the Green Line grand opening party in St. Paul, and he told Star Tribune music writer Chris Riemenschneider that it went well.

Alexander told the Star Tribune that he endured what he called “the most horribly invasive, ridiculously painful surgery you can imagine.” The doctors had to go in through his abdomen, he said, “So just healing up from them having to cut into me has been a big part of it.”

At the time that he stopped touring and performing last year, Alexander said an unidentified childhood injury likely caused the kidney damage; he had been diagnosed with kidney disease as a teen. He began dialysis while he waiting for a kidney. As his surgery approached, a crowd funding campaign helped pay his medical bills; the novel approach even garnered the attention of Time magazine. The YouCaring effort that ended two months ago raised more than $42,000.

At the time of the surgery, CityPages interviewed Mark Potter, Alexander's childhood friend who donated his kidney. Potter, a digital media strategist and photographer, met Alexander when they were in junior high. The two recovered at the same time in nearby rooms at the Hennepin County Medical Center. "It's already been kind of a life changer for him, so it's pretty rewarding," he said from his hospital bed, saying he wanted Alexander to "be around for his kids."

During his recovery, Alexander has hosted a weekly show on MPR's music radio station The Current.

Alexander will return to touring and recording this summer. He told the Star Tribune that his prognosis is good and he's staying positive as his strength returns.

“I love working,” he said. “I looked at this whole thing the way I do a tour, where I don’t know exactly where I’ll be day to day but I know what I have to do. I embraced it as that: something I had to do.”

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While ailing Twin Cities rapper P.O.S. had a kidney transplant lined up, the funding was not -- until the Minneapolis-based septet Doomtree created a crowdfunding page through YouCaring.com for fans to help out with the bill,