This summer, Selena Gomez underwent a harrowing kidney transplant as the result of being diagnosed with Lupus. Selena is now recovered and doing fairly well (well enough to get back together with Justin Bieber, anyway), and the experience has prompted her to become more vocal about supporting Lupus research.
Gomez was honored at the Lupus Research Alliance Annual Gala on Monday, and in her speech, she opened up about the moment her health situation became “life-or-death.”
“I’ve been speaking out about my situation to raise awareness about the disease. After undergoing so many tests to monitor my kidneys my doctors told me I have lupus nephritis, one of those complications from lupus,” she told the audience. “They said I would be needing a kidney transplant.”
Apparently, Gomez didn’t fully understand the gravity of the situation until it was almost too late. “Maybe I wasn’t necessarily really good at knowing what that meant so it actually got to a point where it was life-or-death.”
“Thankfully, one of my best friends gave me her kidney and it was the ultimate gift of life and I’m doing very well now,” she says, referring to her close friend, actress Francia Raisa, who served as Gomez’s kidney donor. “Not everyone is lucky enough to have a donor.”
Gomez went on to thank her doctors, who were actually in attendance at the event. “Two of my doctors are actually here with their beautiful partners and I just want to say thank you so much because it feels good to actually be honored and people like you where – in my world it can seem kind of vain, but this is really, really special.”
“I am supporting the Lupus Research Alliance because they are getting results and that’s what give people hope,” Gomes said at the gala. “The Lupus Research Alliance works with the top researchers who are finding new and safer ways to treat and maybe even prevent damage to the kidneys and other organs. The scientists they fund are looking at what causes Lupus so maybe someday they can be cured.”
“I’d like to see the day when all young women can realize their dreams of life without a Lupus.”