Why fans didn’t see much of Selena Gomez over the summer has finally been revealed.
The singer shared on Instagram a photo of her in a hospital bed Thursday, Sept. 14, and said she had gotten a kidney transplant after a struggle with the autoimmune disease lupus.
“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,” the 25-year-old wrote, referencing her single “Fetish” released in July. “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.”
Pictured in the bed next to her holding her hand is her best friend, television actress Francia Raisa, who is probably best known for her role in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Raisa was apparently her kidney donor.
“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,” wrote 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.”
Gomez first publicized her lupus diagnosis in a 2015 interview with Billboard. After she abruptly canceled the end of a 2013 tour for her album “Stars Dance,” there was speculation that she might have been seeking treatment for an addiction.
It turns out she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lupus.
Last year, she took a break from her career to deal with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, which can be symptoms of the disease.
“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,” she wrote in the post.
She said she wants to be an advocate for those affected by the disease.
Lupus is a condition where the immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks healthy tissue in addition to bad tissue, which can cause inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs.
While there is no cure for the disease, treatments can control the symptoms.
“Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made,” Gomez wrote in her post, directing people to a link for the Lupus Research Alliance website.
Her publicist confirmed that the operation had taken place, but declined an Associated Press query for more details.