In an exclusive interview with TODAY, Selena Gomez and her best friend, Francia Raisa, finally shared the full story of what it was like undergoing a kidney transplant surgery to help Gomez overcome lupus.
"What I believe is that it does happen for a reason. I believe a huge part of my discernment and my honesty and my truth has been because I have a relationship with God," Gomez said to TODAY after her friend accredited God for everything.
Raisa, who's best known for her role on the ABC family series "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," said God led her to live with Gomez and when she finally found out that her roommate needed a transplant, without hesitation she offered to get tested and see if she was a match.
Miraculously, Raisa was a match for the pop star and as she sought for a sign from God on whether or not to go through with the organ donation, Gomez called her. That is when she knew it was God giving her the "affirmation" she needed.
As a way to confirm that she would go through with the transplant, Raisa gave Gomez an engraved box resembling a Bible and containing a kidney bean inside which said, "A sister is a forever friend."
"The fact that she was a match I mean that's unbelievable, it's not real," Gomez shared.
Raisa commented, "Never regretted it at all. She (Gomez) tells me, 'You saved my life."'
The Disney star was in surgery for a total of six hours because there were complications after the transplant. But now, months later, she said she no longer feels the pain of arthritis, the lupus is gone and she no longer has to fight fever, fatigue and other symptoms.
Both stars continually accredited their faith for their encouraging story.
"I hope this inspires people to know that there really is good people in the world," Gomez said with tears in her eyes.
A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on Sep 14, 2017 at 3:07am PDT
Gomez, 25, first announced that she had lupus during an interview with Billboard in October 2015. At the time, the actress and singer disclosed that she underwent chemotherapy. However, Gomez still needed to have a kidney transplant to help her battle the autoimmune disease.
Through an Instagram post in September, Gomez revealed that she had undergone the operation and shared photos of herself alongside Raisa, who donated her kidney.
Gomez said that "there aren't words to describe" how she feels toward Raisa.
"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 gushed.
Raisa likewise accredited God and shared her love for Gomez.
"I am beyond grateful that God would trust me with something that not only saved a life, but changed mine in the process," Raisa wrote on Instagram about the experience. "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."
The 29-year-old actress also included information on the Lupus Research Alliance.
According to an interview with Latina magazine in 2013, Raisa said the pair met in 2007 when they were part of a group of Disney and ABC Family stars picked to visit the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.