Selena Gomez took to Instagram on Thursday to reveal thhe reason she has been missing from the public eye of late: she recently underwent a kidney transplant which was necessary because of her ongoing battle with lupus.
Gomez, 25, posted a photo of her in a hospital bed holding hands with friend and fellow actress, Francia Raisa, 29, who donated one of her kidneys to the former-Disney Channel star.
Gomez wrote: “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.”
Gomez and Raisa met in 2007 when their respective channels (Raisa was with ABC Family, now Freeform) sent the stars to a children’s hospital. “Selena and I wre in the same group and we just clicked,” Raisa told Latina in 2013.
Both actresses have referred to each other as “sisters” in vqarious public statements. In an Instagram post wishing Gomez Happy Birthday in 2016, Raisa shared a picture of her with Gomez, writing, “I went through heartbreak this year and you left the studio and droe 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.”
Raisa made her television debut in the series Over There in 2005 followed by her film debut in Bring It On: All or Nothing. She also had a recurring role on The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Gomez revealed to Billboard in 2015 that she had been diagnosed with Lupus and that she was going through chemotherapy for the disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. She took a break from acting and singing in August of 2016 “after suffering from ‘anxiety, panic attacks and depression” because of her lupus.
When she revealed her diagnosis she said that she had made the conscious decision to go public because she wanted to user her platform as an advocate for the disease. “I waited for the right time to talk about it because I am in a great place, and I’m very health,” she said at the time.
Gomez also shared photos of her stomach and a clear scar there from the kidney transplant surgery on Thursday.