Selena Gomez got real on Thursday morning, sharing the news that she secretly underwent a kidney transplant over the summer to help her battle with lupus. The Instagram post also paid tribute to her actress pal Francia Raisa, who stepped up in the biggest way — as Selena’s organ donor.
“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,” Gomez wrote, along with a photo of them clutching each other’s hand as they sat side by side in their hospital beds. “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”
For her part, Raisa said she was “beyond grateful that God would trust me with something that not only saved a life, but changed mine in the process… Love you sis, so glad we’re on this journey together.”
I am beyond grateful that God would trust me with something that not only saved a life, but changed mine in the process. This was part of our story, and we will share it soon, but what is important now is that this is not the only story. For more information regarding Lupus, please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org — Love you sis, so glad we’re on this journey together. ❤️ xx
A post shared by Francia Raísa (@franciaraisa) on Sep 14, 2017 at 10:19am PDT
The friendship between Selena, 25, and Francia, 29, started 14 years ago. Francia, who appeared on the show The Secret Life of the American Teenager and will soon be co-starring in Yara Shahidi’s Black-ish spin-off, Grown-ish, has said that they met while doing charity work at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
— Francia Raisa (@therealfrancia) March 29, 2011
She elaborated in an interview with Latina magazine in 2013, saying, “Disney and ABC Family had the stars of their shows go to the Children’s Hospital. Selena and I were in the same group and we just clicked.” That same year, Raisa also said on Instagram, “Met you when you were 15 and u became family to me when you were 16. Since then you have changed my life and I’ve become a better person.”
Their bond was so strong, there was even friendship jewelry involved. Gomez gave Raisa “a sister is a forever friend” necklace soon after their meeting. Raisa, whose dad is American radio personality Renán Almendárez Coello, refers to her pal Gomez as her “lil sis.”
A post shared by Francia Raísa (@franciaraisa) on Jul 22, 2015 at 3:23pm PDT
The women often pop up on each other’s Instagram feeds. Raisa, who is also a singer like the Weeknd’s ladylove, is so special that she gets her very own birthday tribute posts.
A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on Jul 26, 2015 at 10:22pm PDT
And vice versa — with hot wings!
A post shared by Francia Raísa (@franciaraisa) on Jul 22, 2012 at 11:22am PDT
Even cuter? They do dance routines and stuff.
Their personal relationship extends into the professional realm with them supporting each other’s career.
Everyone should watch @therealfrancia on the season premiere of Secret Life tonight
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) March 28, 2011
Monte Carlo is finally out in theatres. Support my girl @selenagomez
— Francia Raisa (@therealfrancia) July 1, 2011
And supporting each other in general as they go through life’s ups and downs, obviously including Gomez’s illness, which she went public with in 2015, as well as relationship woes. (We imagine they’ve had many heart-to-hearts over Justin Bieber.)
I went through heartbreak this year and you left the studio and drove out of your way to come see me and comfort me. I received good news last month and you facetimed me minutes before you went up on stage just to congratulate me. There are so many moments we have and things you do that I cherish and don't take for granted. Wether its crying, laughing, or simply sitting on my kitchen floor throwing our hands up in the air confused at life, I'm thankful you're always there. I am obsessed with every memory we've built in the last 8 years and the ones we have yet to create. I am so grateful that God put you in my life when he did. If you think about the time that we met and where we were in our lives when we first hung out, his timing was perfect. It's been so inspiring watching you grow and to grow with you. I learn so much from you and I'm so so so proud of you. Happy Birthday Hermana. Love you so so so much @selenagomez
A post shared by Francia Raísa (@franciaraisa) on Jul 22, 2016 at 8:28am PDT
They have also been each other’s plus-ones to many events. Here they are at the Unlikely Heroes’ 3rd Annual Awards Dinner and Gala in 2014.
They both wore purple to the premiere of Gomez’s then boyfriend Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never movie premiere in 2011.
Their hangs also include concerts. Here they are leaving a Beyoncé show in 2013.
Since news broke of Raisa’s amazing act of friendship in donating her kidney, Gomez’s fans have been showing Raisa so much love on social media. Raisa’s post about it, which came several hours after Gomez originally shared the news of her secret operation, noted that they will soon tell more of the story, but directed fans to Lupus Research Alliance for more information about the autoimmune disease.
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