Selena Gomez is “forever grateful” to longtime friend Francia Raisa, who donated a kidney to the Revelación singer in the summer of 2017 — following complications due to Selena’s auto immune disease lupus. On March 11, Francia, 32, who’s remained fairly private about the kidney operation, shared an emotional message to Twitter on World Kidney Day, to which Selena, 28, replied, “Thank you for blessing me. I am forever grateful to you.”
Thank you for blessing me. I am forever grateful to you. https://t.co/qW5Xm7GJpY
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) March 12, 2021
“If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve kept my kidney donation process pretty private,” Francia wrote in a lengthy Twitter thread, alongside a photo of herself in the hospital after the 2017 surgery. “However, I think I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I feel comfortable and confident in speaking about my experience, and using my platform to raise awareness,” she continued, noting that she dealt with kidney disease. The Grown-ish star’s goal is to raise awareness about kidney disease to ensure those living with it are living well.
On September 14, 2017, Selena took to Instagram to address fans over their concerns about her absence on social media and in the public eye. She explained her health issues and shared a powerful photo of her and her best friend, Francia, in separate hospital beds, holding hands.
“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,” Selena wrote at the time, explaining, “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,” she continued before thanking “my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery.”
To her friend, Selena shared, “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.”
Selena and Francia have been friends for over a decade. The actresses met at a children’s hospital, when ABC Family, where Francia was working at the time, and Disney, where Selena was working at the time, teamed up for charitable efforts. Francia explained in a 2013 interview that the two were paired in the same group together and the rest was history.