Earlier this year, when Selena Gomez needed a kidney transplant, one of her friends came through with a life-saving donation.
Actress Francia Raisa was starring on ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” when she met Gomez during a children’s hospital event in 2007, and they have remained close friends ever since. In 2013, Gomez underwent chemotherapy to treat lupus, something she went public with two years later. As a result of her illness and treatment, Gomez needed a new kidney.
Naturally, Raisa offered one of hers.
It was a heartwarming story that epitomizes #FriendshipGoals.
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
This week, Billboard honored Gomez with its Woman of the Year award. Tearing up as she accepted it, she gave a powerful shoutout to Raisa.
“To be honest, I think Francia should get this award because she saved my life,” she said, trying not to cry. It was a really emotional moment, for Gomez, for Raisa, and for everyone watching at home and in the audience.
More than 80% of the more than 116,000 people currently on the organ transplant waiting list need a new kidney.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a new person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. As just 0.3% of people die in a way that allows for their organs to be transplanted after death, living donors are necessary — though it’s still important to register as an organ donor.
It’s why having a friend like Raisa, someone so selfless and giving, is a true blessing.
Learn more about how you can help change a life by visiting The National Kidney Foundation’s “The Big Ask, The Big Give” website.