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Francia Raisa Opens Up About ‘Overwhelming’ Support She’s Received After Kidney Transplant (Exclusive)

Francia Raisa Talks Selena Gomez Kidney Transplant
Francia Raisa arrives at the Freeform Summit on January 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California.Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Francia Raisa has opened up about the feedback she got from fans after she donated a kidney to Selena Gomez earlier this year.

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“It’s honestly been overwhelming and very amazing. I’m never really open about my personal life and it’s amazing the response that I’ve been getting from people,” Raisa, 29, exclusively told Us Weekly at the Freeform Summit in Hollywood on Thursday, January 18. “I’m honestly just honored.” 

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. 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. 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. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia 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. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: -by grace through faith

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As previously reported, Gomez, 25, underwent a kidney transplant earlier this year due to complications with lupus, the autoimmune disease she was diagnosed with in 2013. The “Wolves” singer opened up about the surgery in a touching Instagram post in September, revealing that Raisa was the one who donated the organ. 

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The Bring It On: All or Nothing actress showed off her scar from the operation at the world premiere screening for her Freeform show, Grow-ish, in December.

“We’re doing great,” Raisa told Us at the time about herself and Gomez. “I’m feeling really good and I’m really happy to be here.”

Raisa also spoke to Us about what’s to come on the Black-ish spinoff, which has already been renewed for a second season.

“There’s so much that happens on this show,” the Secret Life of the American Teenager alum explained on Thursday. “I’m the only Republican in our friend group, so expect my voice to be heard on that and an argument to basically start because a lot of people don’t like that side of me. So it touches on a lot of issues.”

Related: Francia Raisa: What’s in My Bag?

She added, “The similarities between me and Ana is I did grow up Catholic. I grew up with very strict parents and I grew up with believing in whatever my parents told me and anything that had to do with the bible. But they weren’t Republican, they were Democrat – very Democrat. So, that’s the only difference with us. And getting out of my nest and moving out of my house, I kind of had to learn myself a little bit and I’m still doing that. I don’t think we ever stop that. That’s why I love Grown-ish. I’m 29 years old and I’m not an adult yet!”

Reporting by Emily Marcus 

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