Who is Francia Raisa? Everything to know about Selena Gomez's kidney donor and best friend
Everything to know Francia Raisa- Selena Gomez's kidney donor and best friend (Image courtesy- FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY)

A friend of Selena Gomez, Francia Raisa was raised in Los Angeles, California, where she was born to a Mexican mother, Virginia Almendárez, and a radio host named Renán Almendárez Coello. Her father began utilizing his new Latin radio personality, “El Cucuy,” a few years after his daughter was born. Raisa participated in cheerleading Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, California.

After meeting at a charity event in 2007, Selena and Francia became good friends. Later in 2017, in order to help with the health problems she was experiencing as a result of the autoimmune disease lupus, the 30-year-old singer and actress requested a kidney transplant from the ‘Grown-ish’ star. 

Gomez has since thanked her “best friend” for her kind act, acknowledging that she was “so, so, so lucky,” according to Female First UK. The singer thought back on her fight with lupus in 2017 and the severe health issues that followed. Thankfully, Raisa stepped up and provided a kidney for the vital transplant. When she underwent testing and the results revealed that it was a wonderful fit for her, Selena said she was “lucky.”

Francia Raisa and Selena Gomez’s relationship explored

Francia Raisa and Selena Gomez relationship explored
Francia Raisa and Selena Gomez’s relationship explored (Image courtesy- elle.com)

In her junior year of high school, Francia Raisa featured in acting roles, modeled for print ads, and starred in commercials. She appeared as a guest in sitcoms like Over There (2005) and American Family: Journey of Dreams (2002-2004), and also appeared in 2004’s My Girlfriend music video by Lil’ Romeo.

Francia Raisa landed one of her first lead parts in Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006), opposite Hayden Panettiere, a month into her senior year. She co-starred in The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream (2008) and The Cutting Edge: Fire and Ice (2010) as Alexandra Delgado, as well as the Nickelodeon film Shredderman Rules (2007), in which she played Isabel. Raisa also played Adrian Lee in the popular Family drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008- 2013).

How did Francia Raisa meet Selena Gomez?

"I love her to death. She’s my sister"- Francia Raisa
“I love her to death. She’s my sister”- Francia Raisa (Image courtesy- sports.yahoo.com)

In a conversation with Latina magazine in 2013, Francia Raisa said, “Disney and ABC Family had the stars of their shows go to the Children’s Hospital. Selena and I were in the same group and we just clicked.” At the time, she was starring in The Secret Life of An American Teenager (2008 – 2013) and Selena was on her Disney Channel show Wizards of Waverly Place (2007 – 2012).

 Francia bragged about her friendship with Selena
Francia bragged about her friendship with Selena (Image courtesy- Twitter / @BuzzingPop)

When Francia stated that the two were like “sisters” in an interview with WetPaint, as reported by the Daily Mail, the friendship was evidently strong. “I love her to death. She’s my sister and she is one of the sweetest girls I know. She is so caring and so loving and so nurturing. She’s awesome. I don’t know where she came from.”

In a now-deleted Instagram post from 2016, Francia bragged about her friendship with Selena. “I went through heartbreak this year and you left the studio and drove out of your way to come to see me and comfort me. I received good news last month and you FaceTimed me minutes before you went up on stage just to congratulate me,” she added.

“There are so many moments we have and things you do that I cherish and don’t take for granted. Whether it’s crying, laughing, or simply sitting on my kitchen floor throwing our hands up in the air confused at life, I’m thankful you’re always there.”

The kidney transplant that saved Selena’s life

The kidney transplant that saved Selena's life
The kidney transplant that saved Selena’s life (Image courtesy- Instagram / @selenagomez)

Selena spoke for the first time in 2015 about her chemotherapy treatment for the chronic inflammatory condition she fought in 2013. She took to Instagram to share images and videos of her family, which included her younger sister Gracie Elliot Teefey and stepfather Brian Teefy. 

Selena Gomez was given the diagnosis with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease, at the beginning of 2014. She needed a replacement kidney because hers had been damaged by an autoimmune disease.

According to Dr Gary Gilkeson, professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, “instead of the immune system fending off things like infection and cancer, it turns against the individual and starts attacking their own organs.”

Selena had been on the kidney transplant waiting list for around 10 years when Francia Raisa stepped in. Like a genuine friend, she offered herself as the organ donor. She underwent surgery and gave Gomez her kidney after determined as a match. 

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Bias Sinha is a Writer at Spiel Times. She is an introvert who is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Education. Moreover, she used to work as a freelance content writer. She is interested in books, old movies, and K-dramas. In her leisure time, she likes to read, make DIY crafts, create scrapbooks, watch series and spend time with her fur baby. Furthermore, she is also writing her own book.