Pop music sensation Selena Gomez shocked her fans by revealing she had a kidney transplant this summer. Equally surprising, the person who sacrificially donated one of her kidneys to Gomez was none other than her good friend, actress Francia Raisa, who is best known for her work in "The Secret Life of the American Teenager."
The 25-year-old Gomez posted a picture of the two recovering from the surgery, smiling at each other and holding hands in side-by-side hospital beds. The caption read, ""There aren't words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa," said Gomez. "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis."
I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith
Gomez said the kidney transplant was necessary because of her ongoing battle with Lupus, an autoimmune disease. According to the National Kidney Foundation there are two types of Lupus, one that only affects the skin, and another more serious type that harms the kidneys, called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). That type of Lupus can be fatal and can also affect the joints and the brain, according to the NKF.
Gomez also posted pictures of her transplant scar on her abdomen. Also in the post, she acknowledged she kept her surgery a secret despite confusion as to her whereabouts.
"I'm very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn't promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of," she explained, "I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health."
She said she plans to reveal the details of her ordeal in the days to come. "I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon, my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you."
She ended her post with the phrase, "By grace through faith." That's a reference to Ephesians 2:8, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."
Gomez has been reconnecting with her faith over the last year or so.
She joined Hillsong on stage in March of 2016 to lead worship with the first worship song she ever wrote. She's been talking more about her faith in Jesus Christ and spending time with friends from church and not all of them famous.
She also ended the post with an invitation to visit the Lupus Research Alliance website.
Although this is the first time Gomez revealed she had a kidney transplant, she announced her Lupus diagnosis two years ago, and has since been outspoken about her condition in an effort to raise awareness about the disease.
In October of 2015, Gomez announced she had recieved chemotherapy to treat her Lupus. Then in August, 2016 Gomez shrank from the spotlight due to symptoms associated with the disease, according to a statement given to People.
"As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways. I've discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges," she said.
"I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off," she wrote.
"Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues," Gomez also said in the statement.