This is what true friendship looks like.
Selena Gomez, who won the Billboard “Woman of the Year” award Thursday night, could not contain her tears while receiving the award in front of her longtime friend and kidney donor, Francia Raisa.
The Secret Life of an American Teenager star was instrumental in helping Selena overcome her fight with Lupus, an immune system disease that tends to attack a patient’s major organs before completely rendering one or more of them defunct. In Selena’s case, the disease, which she had been battling for several years but only opened about it publicly during an interview with Billboard in October 2015, had spread to her kidney and therefore posed a great risk to her.
Gomez’s condition worsened to the point where she had to undergo chemotherapy but when even that did not improve her condition, doctors told her she would need a kidney transplant.
It was then that when things got really tough, though, that Selena realized who her truest friends were. Raisa, who is a celebrity in her own right and has been chums with Gomez since they were teenagers, stepped in and saved the day for the “Wolves” singer, as reported by People.
“It was really kind of life or death. My kidneys were just done,” Selena said.
“That was it and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life. That was the day I came home and she volunteered, she did it.”
Without even Gomez directly asking Francia for help, the actress figured out the situation and never hesitated even for a bit. She volunteered to donate her kidney on the spot, as reported by News.com.au.
Selena underwent a kidney transplant this past summer and has since recovered wonderfully well, thanks to Raisa’s constant support. The Wizards Of Waverly Place star said Francia and her went on to become even closer friends in the months that followed the transplant.
This exemplary act of sacrifice was definitely not lost on Selena, as was proved when she broke down while receiving her award at the Billboards “Women in Music” function last night.
“I think Francia should be getting this award. She saved my life… I feel incredibly lucky,” a teary-eyed Gomez said, before adding that her music has also been possible only because Raisa helped her navigate the bitter times.
“Honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful for the position that I’ve been given in my career from 7 to 14 to now,” she continued.
“I want people to know that I respect the platform that I have so deeply because I knew that I wanted to be a part of something great, I wanted people to feel great. I feel like for me, with my music, I’ve been able to illustrate the things that I want. And I’m reminded by a team of people who believe in me even when I don’t myself and I couldn’t be more luckier.”