Who’s that girl? Selena Gomez took to Instagram on Thursday, Sept. 14, to reveal that her bestie Francia Raisa donated her kidney to the pop star as she continues her fight against Lupus. According to the 25-year-old “Hands to Myself” singer, Raisa, 29, “gave [her] the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney,” for which she feels “incredibly blessed.” Naturally, Selenators are more curious than ever about Francia — so In Touch rounded up everything you need to know about Sel’s BFF.
She’s an actress
Francia made her acting debut in the 2005 TV series Over There. She then landed a role in Bring it On: All or Nothing, starring alongside Hayden Panettiere and Solange Knowles. She also had a recurring role on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager from 2008 to 2013. The television star, who played Adrian Lee on the drama, won a Gracie Award in 2011 for “Outstanding Female Rising Star in a Drama Series or Special.” She has also made appearances in The Mindy Project and Dear White People, and is set to star in the Black-ish spinoff, Grown-ish.
She used to be a model
Before she started acting, Francia — the daughter of radio personality Renan (El Cucuy) Coello and Virginia Almendarez — had a successful career as a model.
She met Selena during a visit to a children’s hospital in 2007
During a 2013 interview with Latina, Francia opened up about her first time meeting Selena, when ABC Family (which has since rebranded itself as Freeform) and Disney had stars of their shows meet with kids at a children’s hospital. “Selena and I were in the same group and we just clicked,” Francia said.
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I went through heartbreak this year and you left the studio and drove out of your way to come 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. There are so many moments we have and things you do that I cherish and don't take for granted. Wether its 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. I am obsessed with every memory we've built in the last 8 years and the ones we have yet to create. I am so grateful that God put you in my life when he did. If you think about the time that we met and where we were in our lives when we first hung out, his timing was perfect. It's been so inspiring watching you grow and to grow with you. I learn so much from you and I'm so so so proud of you. Happy Birthday Hermana. Love you so so so much @selenagomez
She has a strong spiritual side — just like Selena
In July 2016, Francia posted a sweet tribute to Selena for her 24th birthday, in which she thanked God for their friendship. As fans are well aware, Selena is a proud Christian and often attends Hillsong Church services in LA. “I am so grateful that God put you in my life when he did. If you think about the time that we met and where we were in our lives when we first hung out, his timing was perfect,” Francia wrote. “It’s been so inspiring watching you grow and to grow with you.”
She’s an entrepreneur
In 2015, Francia launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund Ellobella, a wrinkle-resistant dress that comes in a custom carrying case and is small enough to fit into a handbag. However, the brunette beauty was unable to raise enough money and the business never took off.