Selena Gomez opened up about the life-changing surgery she had during the summer of 2017 in a brave post on Instagram, letting everyone know she had a kidney transplant. The new kidney she received happened to come from someone very special to her: one of her best friends, actress Francia Raisa, who you most likely know from her role as Adrian on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Since Sel first shared the news, fans had naturally flooded Francia's own social media accounts with an outpouring of love and super sweet messages, thanking her for deciding to give her longtime bestie the ultimate gift. And Francia took to her Instagram too, sharing the same photo Selena did of the girls as they prepared for the surgeries, along with her own heartfelt message about the operations.
"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," Francia wrote in the caption.
You can tell the bond between these two women is unbreakable and they are family at this point. Both girls even spoke all about this major surgery during an emotional sit-down interview with The Today Show. And Francia was Selena's date to Billboard's Women in Music event, where she and Ella Fanning presented Selena with her award for Woman of the Year.
(Photo Credit: Getty)
As soon as Selena went up on stage to accept her award, she proclaimed with tears in her eyes that she thinks Francia should be the one being named woman of the year "because she saved my life." Check out her full speech and yes, you will most need a tissue because when Selena Gomez cries, we all cry:
You can just feel the sisterhood between Selena and Francia. But how exactly did this magical friendship begin and how long have they been buds? Well, we have it all so gather around.
How did Selena and Francia meet?
The girls met back in 2007 at a charity event.
"Six years ago Disney and ABC Family had the stars of their shows go to the Children's Hospital. Selena and I were in the same group and we just clicked," Francia said to Latina in 2013. So they've known each other for a decade now and as Francia pointed out in her birthday post to Sel in 2016, they really found each other at the perfect time.
"I went through heartbreak this year and you left the studio and drove out of your way to come see me and comfort me. I received good news last month and you facetimed me minutes before you went up on stage just to congratulate me. There are so many moments we have and things you do that I cherish and don't take for granted. Whether its crying, laughing, or simply sitting on my kitchen floor throwing our hands up in the air confused at life, I'm thankful you're always there. I am obsessed with every memory we've built in the last 8 years and the ones we have yet to create. I am so grateful that God put you in my life when he did. If you think about the time that we met and where we were in our lives when we first hung out, his timing was perfect. It's been so inspiring watching you grow and to grow with you. I learn so much from you and I'm so so so proud of you. Happy Birthday Hermana. Love you so so so much @selenagomez," Francia wrote.
How did Francia decide to give Selena one of her kidneys?
Undergoing a kidney transplant is a serious procedure and some people wait years to find a donor, since you obviously need to find a perfect match. Selena didn't tell Francia or many people want she was going through and after having her family tested, no one was a match. When Sel finally confided in Francia what was going on with her body, Francia immediately volunteered to get tested to see if she could be a donor for the songstress and as it turned out, she was the perfect match.
"One day she [Selena] came home and she was emotional. I hadn't asked anything. I knew she hadn't been feeling well. She couldn't open a water bottle one day. She chucked it and she started crying. And I said, 'What’s wrong?' and that’s when she told me. And she goes, 'I don’t know what to do. The list is seven to ten years long. It just vomited out of me: I was like, 'Of course I’ll get tested,'" Francia said on the TODAY Show.
Francia completed all the testing that needed to be done in about a day when the process can take up to six months. This was an emergency situation, since Selena's kidneys were failing, which is why it all happened so fast. Selena never thought to ask Francia or anyone really, since this is truly not an easy surgery to have.
"The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it. And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean that’s unbelievable. That’s not real," Selena said.
Do they hang out often?
YES, of course they do! Granted, both girls are super busy with their respective careers, but they have lived together at one point and are typical besties. Since Secret Life ended, Francia has starred in movies and TV shows, most recently in the Netflix series Dear White People and she's currently filming the upcoming Freeform series, Grownish. And we know Selena has her music career and is currently filming a movie herself. But they're always so supportive of each other. Like the fact that Francia was there for Sel's first night of her Revival Tour. Fun fact: her fave songs from the album are "Sober" and "Body Heat."
And she was on hand for the premiere of 13 Reasons Why, the show Sel executive produced.
Just precious. Plus, they're always their true selves when they hang out. Who doesn't need that friend they can do anything with and spend hours talking about everything and nothing?
That's for sure how these two are.
Are Selena and Francia related?
No, they're not technically related, but their friendship has obviously developed into such a deep connection, they treat each other like family. "When we first met you gave me a necklace that says 'a sister is a forever friend' your support and words this night meant the world to me. I love you sis! My forever friend," wrote in the caption of this glam pic the girls snapped together while attending the Unlikely Heroes' 3rd Annual Awards Dinner And Gala in 2014.
Plus, Francia even paid a visit to Selena's cousin Priscilla and snapped a pic with Priscilla's son/Sel's godson, Aiden. "First stop in Dallas had to be to see my second family and cuddle my sobrino. #aidenjaycosme It's true love 😍," she wrote in the caption. "Sobrino" means nephew in Spanish so it's obvi she's Aunt Francia to the little cutie too!
Francia's mom, Virginia Almendarez, went on to detail just how close the girls are when she spoke to Telemundo's María Celeste Arrarás on the show, Al Rojo Vivo for an interview.
"They've been friends for many years. They're like sisters. I love her [Selena] a lot, too. She loves me a lot. She says I'm her mom. I'm very proud of both of them," she said. How cute is that?! And Selena's mom, Mandy Teefey, took to her Instagram to share the photo of the girls in the hospital together explained that she too views Francia as another daughter.
"As a mother I was helpless, scared and all I could do was pray for both of them, Francia's beautiful family. I am pretty sure I am banned from that hospital. Mama Bear was in high gear. Selena gained a kidney, I was able to keep my little girl, but I also gained another daughter....thank you to everyone who was there for Sel, Francia and our families. We survived from all the love, prayers and God," Mandy wrote." You can truly feel the love.
Have they ever worked together?
The girls haven't collaborated on a project just yet but Sel, Francia and a few of their other friends love to hit the dancefloor together and they seriously have some fierce moves.
They even busted out some moves to another one of Selena's good friends, Taylor Swift's classic jam, "I Knew You Were Trouble,"
Queens who will be legit be friends until the end of time.
This post was originally published on Sept. 14, 2017, and has been updated with new information.