Fans Raise $100K for ‘American Idol’ Alum Sidelined By Life-Threatening Illness

Season 10 American Idol Top 6

Getty Season 10 "American Idol" finalists (from left to right): Casey Abrams, Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and James Durbin in 2011

After several months of hospitalizations and life-saving surgery, “American Idol” fan-favorite Casey Abrams has received an outpouring of love and donations from fans, friends, and fellow musicians. In the last two weeks, a GoFundMe campaign for the talented jazz bassist and singer has received nearly two thousand donations, raising over $100,000 to help cover his medical expenses and months of canceled performances. Here’s what you need to know:

Casey Abrams Had Emergency Life-Saving Surgery in October

In late November 2022, Abrams, who placed sixth on season 10 of “Idol,” revealed on Instagram that after multiple hospitalizations this year for his ulcerative colitis, he had to be rushed back to the hospital on October 15.

“I was bleeding so much that I had to have an emergency surgery to save my life,” Abrams captioned his post, revealing that his entire colon had to be removed in order to stop the bleeding.

In a video he posted on December 13, Abrams shared further details about the scary ordeal, his current condition, and the surgeries he must undergo in future months.

“It was my fourth time to the hospital,” Abrams revealed about his multiple hospitalizations, which began with a week-long stay in early September, and resulted in him losing 40 pounds in just one month.

“I just couldn’t stop bleeding and every time I went to the bathroom, I would get a little dizzy until, finally, I fainted twice in my own home,” he said. “I was taken to the ICU twice. The first time they gave me a whole bunch of blood. Then I went to the ICU a second time, I just couldn’t stop bleeding even when I wasn’t going to the bathroom. I was seeing stars.”

Abrams continued, “So, they had an emergency surgery where they had to cut out the thing that was trying to kill me, which was my colon. I remember crying a lot and I remember not wanting to do it. But I had to do it so I could stay alive.”

Casey Abrams Reveals Explicit Details of His Recovery & Why He Can’t Perform

Since appearing on “Idol” in 2011, during which he was hospitalized for an ulcerative colitis flare-up and required a blood transfusion, Abrams has become a vocal advocate for those who suffer from the condition, using his fame to help spread awareness about the condition.

He’s using this difficult turn of events to further educate people about what it means to lose his colon and why he can’t go on with life as usual after the life-saving surgery. In his December 13 video, he shared that he is walking again but has a “long, hard road to recovery” that will include multiple surgeries in 2023.

“I have a bag and a stoma, which means I can’t go number two out my butt,” he revealed. “I have to do a number two through my stoma which is like a butt coming out of my stomach. I constantly have to change it. It makes it hard to do anything like shower or cook or even play the bass.”

“I’m happy because the bag saved my life,” he said, but added that he’ll need further surgery to create a “pouch” within his body so that he won’t require an external bag anymore. That intervention could happen anywhere from two months to a year from now, he said.

“I’ve had to turn down a lot of my gigs and a lot of my concerts and that is my way of living,” he shared, revealing that his friends Mitch and Sarah Haeuszer had created a GoFundMe with a $100,000 goal to cover his expenses.

Abrams has been flooded with well-wishes and donations, with the fundraiser reaching its goal in just two weeks. Any funds that go beyond covering his specific needs, the Haeuzers wrote, will be donated to the Greater Los Angeles/Orange County Chapter of the Crohns & Colitis Foundation.

In a video posted on December 28 to celebrate reaching the fundraising goal, Abrams thanked contributors not only for their donations but for the encouraging comments that have helped him stay focused each day. Fellow “Idol” alums have been among those commenting on Abrams’ social media posts as he heals.

Fellow season 10 alum and longtime friend Haley Reinhart wrote, “Trooper is an understatement my dear friend… you have been a warrior! So thankful to see you on the mend…Sending healing energies your way, always Case!”

Season 14 third-place singer Jax, who scored a huge hit in 2022 with her song “Victoria’s Secret,” wrote, “Casey I’m so sorry and I love you dude. We had no idea you were going through this.”

Season 3 runner-up Diana DeGarmo Young wrote, “We love you, Casey! Keep healing and singing.”