The Leopard

Struggling with Lupus

Taken by: Todd Williamson

Rosine Nibishaka, Hard News Writer

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Selena Gomez is a 25 year old American actress and singer, who five years ago was diagnosed with Lupus. Lupus is a disease where the immune system attacks your own tissues, leading to deterioration of said tissues. The signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks, in some cases, even years.

 

In September, Gomez revealed that she underwent surgery during the summer after the autoimmune disease started attacking her kidney. Her friend Francia Raisa, also an American actress, was supporting her every step of the way. They met in 2007, when Disney and ABC family had the stars of their shows visit the Children’s Hospital. They were placed in the same groups and from there, the friendship blossomed.

 

Gomez’s pain was so present, she couldn’t even open a water bottle. She was suffering from arthritis and was weeks away from dialysis. “I got to the point where it was really kind of life or death,” Gomez states, “It’s really hard to think about or swallow.” She told NBC news that she isn’t proud of keeping it a secret from her friends and family and that it was “extremely selfish.”

 

When Raisa saw how much pain Gomez was in, she stepped up and decided to donate her kidney. This was a relief for Gomez because she couldn’t bring herself  to ask a friend or family member to give up a kidney. Her alternative option was to have an anonymous donor, but the wait was 7-10 years. None of her family members were matches, but luckily Raisa was.

 

Raisa explains the emergency situation they were in. They were running out of time and the testing that needed to be done was estimated to take about six weeks to complete. Miraculously, she was able to finish it in one day. Raisa was putting her life on the line. She had to write a will and was not guaranteed that she would wake up. However, the procedure was successful, and there’s only a 3 to 5 percent chance that Gomez’s lupus will return.

 

Gomez expressed that she is very thankful and blessed that Raisa gave her the ultimate gift and sacrifice. Gomez has also made a commitment to raise awareness for Lupus and she did exactly that. Many people are thankful for her health and her willingness to speak about it publicly.

 

Gomez and Raisa are now both back to work. Gomez has a new album that she will be releasing soon and Raisa is also in the new show “Grown-ish,” which is a spinoff of “Black-ish.” The show will premiere on January 3, on Freeform. They are both grateful that they’re in the best health possible and are able to get back to work.

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