At just twenty-four years old, Selena Gomez has already lived many lives. She started acting at ten, was the star of a hit Disney show in her teens, became the voice of Mavis in Hotel Transylvania, and became a pop princess. Then at twenty, she received news that she had a deadly, incurable disease, Lupus, and that she would need to start chemotherapy. Publicly Selena showed a brave face. She grew her singing career, produced shows, dated fellow celebrities, but only those in her inner circle knew just how sick Selena truly was. Even as she grew as a performer, the star faced a reality many of us would fear: her illness was progressing and she would need a kidney transplant in order to survive.
The donor list is long, and after no one in her family showed to be a match, Selena had to face the devastating news that she, like so many others, might die on the list.
Then a miracle happened. After her roommate, fellow actor Francia Raisa, found out Selena needed a kidney, she decided she wanted to be tested...and was a match. Francia donated a kidney and saved Selena's life.
The grueling process came with huge risks for both young women, but the successful transplant put her illness into remission, with only a 5% to 7% chance it will return.
"She saved my life," Selena insists, when talking about Francia's gift. "She absolutely saved my life."
Very few people knew just how close Selena came to death before the transplant, but she's since vowed to spread Lupus awareness and honor Francia's gift of life by helping as many others survive as possible.
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