Francia Raisa cared about Selena Gomez’s health and well-being so much that she gave up one of her kidneys for her friend. However, according to Selena, Francia does not top her list of BFFs. In fact, the kidney donor didn’t even receive an honorable mention when Selena paid tribute to her tight-knit group of gal pals.
As reported by ELLE, Selena Gomez recently took to Instagram to gush about the young women in her life who mean the most to her. She shared a series of photos that were taken during the 26th birthday celebration of one of these lucky ladies, longtime pal Courtney Barry. The squad who joined Selena and Courtney for a fun-filled night of eating junk food and getting inked up also included Raquelle Stevens and Ashley Cooke.
“My best friend turned 26. Part one,” Selena captioned a group photo of the foursome.
In a series of subsequent Instagram posts, Selena Gomez revealed that she and her friends got multiple matching tattoos to commemorate the occasion. In one photo, a tattoo artist is pictured inking the inner part of Selena’s right upper forearm. The other tattoo Selena got was on her upper right rib cage. She and Courtney Barry seemed pretty stoked about their identical body art, but Selena joked that Raquelle Stevens freaked out and had a “panic attack” over her tiny tat, which Selena described as nothing but “a dot.”
Best friend turned 26. Part 2. #4 because these women have stayed by my side for 7 years (@ashley_cook 12 years) 4, because you are my 4 for the rest of my life. I love you ladies. You all inspire me to be better, stronger, closer to god and we have lived the most INSANE story together already. Can’t wait for 50 more!! Ps @raquellestevens had an actual panic attack ???? it’s a dot! ????????♀️
Selena Gomez’s Instagram posts included explanations for why the women pictured with her are so important to her. Ashley Cooke got a special shout-out for being part of Selena’s life for 12 years, but most of the Spring Breakers star’s reverence was reserved for birthday girl Courtney Barry. Selena praised her pal for being an “incredible woman” who possesses a giving spirit, has a great sense of humor, and is steadfast in her faith. She also described Courtney as her “actual #1” BFF.
And lastly, my actual #1 @courtneyjbarry you are an incredible woman. The way you handle life’s most confusing moments is indescribable and graceful. You are moved by the littlest stories to the most heartbreaking ones, you will give someone your perfume if they say you smell nice, you are freaking hilarious and always stand firm in your faith, a loving sister, an amazing friend and a beautiful daughter. You are the definition of FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made baby! #1
Some of Selena Gomez’s Instagram followers applauded her for being such a great friend to the members of her girl squad, but others wanted to know why a woman who truly went the extra mile for Selena didn’t get her own social media shout-out. Grown-ish star Francia Raisa donated a kidney to Selena Gomez last fall, and she’s often described as the pop star’s “best friend” in articles about her extreme sacrifice.
“WHAT ABOUT THE GIRL WHO GAVE YOU HER KIDNEY!!?” wrote one of Selena’s followers.
“Francia saved your life girl. Priorities. Come on now. Lupus warriors need friends like Francia!” another commented.
Some of Selena Gomez’s fans fired back at her critics, arguing that the singer/actress isn’t obligated to consider Francia Raisa her best friend simply because she has one of her organs in her body now.
“Her number one doesn’t have to go to the person who saved her life. She had a life and a number one before the kidney,” wrote one commenter.
Selena Gomez suffers from lupus, a serious autoimmune disease that caused her kidneys to begin to shut down. In hopes of helping her friend, Francia Raisa decided to get tested to see if she was a donor match for Selena. She was, and Selena’s kidney transplant was a success. However, Francia told SELF that recovering from surgery was “very hard” for her, and she and Selena both suffered from depression afterwards.
Selena has given her kidney donor credit for saving her life in the past, but she did not mention Francia while talking about her transplant at the April 19 WE Day celebration. Instead, Entertainment Tonight reports that Selena Gomez’s speech was about how her surgery and recovery was inspiring others.
I am beyond grateful that God would trust me with something that not only saved a life, but changed mine in the process. This was part of our story, and we will share it soon, but what is important now is that this is not the only story. For more information regarding Lupus, please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org — Love you sis, so glad we’re on this journey together. ❤️ xx
“As maybe some of you know, I had a kidney transplant this year and so many people from across the country reached out and they offered their support. And others told me how hearing my story helped them find their own courage and helped other people want to get involved and donate,” Selena said. “They reminded me how lucky I am to have a platform where I can share with you guys and I can pay the love forward.”