Selena Gomez may have been fighting lupus for years, but it was only recently that the seriousness of her diagnosis fully hit home.
Speaking at the Lupus Research Alliance’s Breaking Through Gala, the 25-year-old opened up about the exact moment she realised she could lose her battle with the autoimmune disease.
“I’ve been speaking about my situation to raise awareness,” the Wolves singer explained.
“After undergoing so many tests to monitor my kidneys my doctors told me I have lupus nephritis, one of those complications from lupus. They said I would be needing a kidney transplant.”
During her initial diagnosis, doctors had warned this could be on the cards. But she said she dismissed it because she “wasn’t necessarily really good at knowing what that meant.”
Her health continued to deteriorate until “it actually got to a point where it was life-or-death.”
“Thankfully, one of my best friends gave me her kidney and it was the ultimate gift of life,” she added.
The star also took a moment to acknowledge the medical experts who had helped her through her ordeal.
“It feels good to actually be honouring people like you, or in my world it could seem kind of vain, but this is really, really special,” she said.
“Not everyone is lucky enough to have a donor and something as monumental as an organ transplant shouldn’t be the best treatment option available. I’d like to see the day when all young women can realise their dreams of life without a Lupus.”
Just two months after having the operation, Selena’s arthritis is gone and she’s seen an improvement in her blood pressure. She’s also raised more than $500,000 for the Lupus Research Alliance and remains committed to finding a cure.
”At the end of the day, I think all the stuff that I went through made me and defined everything that I am right now,” she said in a recent interview with TODAY.
“I think it’s a really beautiful thing and I have to remind myself that it’s not a negative experience.”