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Selena Gomez Reveals Her Best Friend Gave Her a Kidney: 'She Gave Me the Ultimate Gift'

People logo People 9/14/2017 Stephanie Petit
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(Video provided by Veuer) 

Selena Gomez has been given the gift of life from her best friend.

The 25-year-old singer revealed that the reason she quietly stepped back from her career over the summer was because she was recovering from a kidney transplant.

“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,” Gomez captioned the Instagram post. “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.” Selena Gomez attends the 2017 BoF 500 Gala at Public Hotel on September 9, 2017 in New York City. © Mike Pont—WireImage Selena Gomez attends the 2017 BoF 500 Gala at Public Hotel on September 9, 2017 in New York City.

The “Hands to Myself” singer also shared that the donor was her longtime pal Francia Raisa, an actress best known for her role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Gomez shared a photo of the friends holding hands from their hospital beds as well as photos of her stomach following the surgery.

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/

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,” said Gomez. “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”

© Selena Gomez Instagram

In an October 2015 interview with Billboard, Gomez revealed that she was diagnosed with lupus and was undergoing chemotherapy for the autoimmune disease.

In August 2016, Gomez took a career break after suffering from “anxiety, panic attacks and depression” due to her lupus diagnosis.

© Selena Gomez Instagram “As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways. I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” she said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.

“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”

Gomez told Billboard in December 2016 that she decided to go public with her diagnosis because she wanted to be 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 healthy,” she said. “I’m not trying to be loud about it: It was time to use my platform to help.”

Related slideshow: 14 stars who went public with their health battles MARIA MENOUNOS: <p>In July 2017, the E! News host told PEOPLE her devastating news: as her mom is battling brain cancer, she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor of her own. "I'd been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches," she told PEOPLE. "My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter." After a successful surgery, which removed 99.9 percent of the tumor, she opened up to PEOPLE about the experience. "We're caretakers as women and we put ourselves last," she said. "I tell people all the time if your car is making a weird noise, you take it to the mechanic. How come when our body is making weird noises, we ignore it? I'm so lucky that I went to the doctor and raised the alarm."</p> 14 Celebs Who Went Public with Their Health Battles

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