Se­lena Gomez un­der­goes kid­ney trans­plant due to lu­pus

El Dorado News-Times - - Living -

Se­lena Gomez re­cently re­ceived a kid­ney trans­plant from tele­vi­sion ac­tress Fran­cia Raisa due to her strug­gle with lu­pus, the ac­tress-singer re­vealed Thurs­day.

Gomez dis­closed in an In­sta­gram post con­firmed by her pub­li­cist that she has been some­what out of the spot­light this sum­mer be­cause she was re­cov­er­ing from the pro­ce­dure. The 25-year-old calls the trans­plant "what I needed to do for my over­all health."

The post didn't re­veal Gomez's cur­rent con­di­tion or say where or when the pro­ce­dure took place. Gomez's pub­li­cist de­clined to re­lease more in­for­ma­tion.

Gomez wrote "there aren't words to de­scribe" how she can thank Raisa, who she says gave "the ul­ti­mate gift and sac­ri­fice by do­nat­ing her kid­ney."

"I am in­cred­i­bly blessed," she added.

The In­sta­gram post in­cludes a pic­ture of Gomez and Raisa hold­ing hands while ly­ing side-by-side in hos­pi­tal beds and an­other photo of a scar on Gomez's ab­domen. The 29-year-old Raisa is best known for her role on the ABC Fam­ily se­ries "The Se­cret Life of the Amer­i­can Teenager." Raisa's for­mer pub­li­cist said she for­warded a re­quest for com­ment to Raisa on Thurs­day; it was not im­me­di­ately re­turned.

Gomez re­vealed her lu­pus di­ag­no­sis in 2015 and took a break from her ca­reer last year to deal with anx­i­ety, panic at­tacks and de­pres­sion stem­ming from her bat­tle with the dis­ease.

Lu­pus is an au­toim­mune dis­ease, where the body mis­tak­enly at­tacks its own tis­sues, some­times in­clud­ing the kid­neys. One healthy kid­ney is all the body needs, so a sin­gle kid­ney trans­plant can re­solve the prob­lem, said Dr. David Klassen, chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer for the United Net­work for Or­gan Shar­ing, which runs the na­tion's trans­plant sys­tem.

"Lu­pus tends to be a dis­ease of younger women, and younger peo­ple tend to do bet­ter with trans­plants than older pa­tients, so the ex­pec­ta­tion is she would do quite well," he said of Gomez.

Lu­pus also tends not to come back af­ter the op­er­a­tion -- "the drugs that pre­vent kid­ney re­jec­tion are also very good for treat­ing lu­pus, the un­der­ly­ing dis­ease," Klassen said.

The causes of lu­pus are un­known. Symp­toms can in­clude bloody or foamy urine, un­ex­plained weight gain, high blood pres­sure or swelling in the legs, an­kles or around the eyes.

Only about 3 per­cent of kid­ney trans­plants are for lu­pus -- most are due to di­a­betes or chronic dam­age from high blood pres­sure.

There were about 19,000 kid­ney trans­plants in the U.S. last year.

Gomez, whose hits in­clude "Good for You," ''Same Old Love" and "Come & Get It," has been in the spot­light since she was a child.

She ap­peared on "Barney and Friends" be­fore break­ing through as a teen star on the Dis­ney Chan­nel's "Wizards of Waverly Place." She has a mas­sive fol­low­ing on so­cial me­dia. Her 126 mil­lion fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram are the most on the plat­form.

She is due to star in an up­com­ing Woody Allen movie due out next year.

Gomez, who has been dat­ing the singer The Weeknd for sev­eral months, also has had suc­cess be­hind the scenes as the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of Net­flix's "13 Rea­sons Why," the con­tro­ver­sial young adult se­ries that be­came a sum­mer sen­sa­tion this year.

John Salangsang/AP

Lu­pus: Se­lena Gomez ar­rives at WE Day Cal­i­for­nia on April 27 at the Fo­rum in In­gle­wood. Gomez re­vealed in an In­sta­gram post Thurs­day that she re­ceived a kid­ney trans­plant be­cause of her strug­gle with Lu­pus.

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