On Thursday (Sep. 14), Selena Gomez, who opened up to Billboard about her lupus diagnosis back in 2015, posted an Instagram telling fans that a few months ago, she had to receive a kidney transplant due to the disease. But the photo wasn’t just of Gomez; it was also of the woman who donated her kidney to the singer, Francia Raisa. Below, five things to know about the selfless friend.
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
1. She and Selena met in 2007.
Raisa and Gomez met a decade ago when Disney and ABC had then-Disney stars visit the Children’s Hospital. Despite their five year age difference, Raisa said in an interview with Latina that “Selena and I were in the same group and we just clicked.”
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
2. She made her acting debut in 2005.
Raisa intiially started acting as a child and had a role in the TV series Over There. She then picked up roles in Bring it On: All or Nothing alongside Hayden Panettiere and Solange, and had a recurring role on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager for six years.
3. Even before acting, Raisa was a model.
As the child of radio personality Renan (El Cucuy) Coello and Virginia Almendarez, Raisa is no stranger to the spotlight. In fact, she even had a successful modeling career before she began acting.
4. She is also an entrepreneur.
Back in 2015, Raisa launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Ellobella, a wrinkle-resistant dress that comes in a custom carrying case and can be folded small enough to fit into your purse. Unfortunately, that project wasn’t able to raise enough funds.
5. She and Selena are so close, they consider each other sisters.
Not only did Gomez call her “sis” in her Instagram post, but throughout the years Raisa and Gomez have posted pics of each other stating how close their bond is. They’ve also spoken about each other — even during Gomez’s highly publicized Justin Bieber breakup — in the press. “She’s my sister and she is one of the sweetest girls I know,’ Raisa told Wetpaint in 2012. “She is so caring and so loving and so nurturing. She’s awesome. I don’t know where she came from.”