The singer is opening up about her misunderstood battle with lupus.

By Faith Brar
September 14, 2017

Selena Gomez has been keeping public appearances to a minimum for the last year in order to deal with her anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, but fans have been confused about why she hasn't been promoting her new music.

Things came full circle after Gomez took to Instagram earlier today to reveal that she's been taking the summer off to recover from a kidney transplant she underwent as part of her lupus diagnosis.

"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," she captioned the lengthy 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."

The "Bad Liar" singer also revealed that the donor was none other than her best friend and actress Francia Raisa, who's best known for her role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. "There aren't words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa," Gomez wrote alongside a picture of the duo holding hands in hospital beds. "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much, sis."

Gomez first revealed that she'd been diagnosed with lupus in an interview with Billboard in October 2015. While the illness affects nearly 1.5 million people in the United States, nearly 72 percent of Americans know nothing about it. To recap: The autoimmune diseases can cause inflammation and damage to multiple organs, to the point where a transplant can become necessary, because of antibodies treating your personal cells as foreign invaders. Experts still aren't sure why this happens, which is why Gomez labeled the disease as "misunderstood" in her post.

Online, fans are praising the singer for discussing her kidney transplant so openly, using the hashtag #WeAreProudOfYouSelena.

Since then, Selena's mother Mandy Teefy has also shared her thoughts on the situation and opened up through a touching Instagram post. "For all those moments of not knowing if we were going up or going down, I can always come back to this picture and know we can always make it back up," she said referring to the picture Selena posted of her and Francia in hospital beds.

"As a mother, I was helpless, scared and all I could do was pray for both of them, Francia's beautiful family," she continued, before joking, "I am pretty sure I am banned from that hospital. Mama Bear was in high gear."

She ended her note by adding that while her daughter may have gained a kidney, she herself gained another daughter in Raisa. "Thank you to everyone who was there for Sel, Francia, and our families," wrote Teefy. "We survived from all the love, prayers, and God."