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Selena Gomez and Francia Raísa open up about kidney transplant in NBC News exclusive

by Eun Kyung Kim / / Source: TODAY

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Selena Gomez and the friend who donated a kidney to her recently sat down for an exclusive NBC News interview to describe the emotional details that led to the procedure earlier this year.

The 25-year-old actress and pop star revealed in September that she had undergone a kidney transplant over the summer as a result of her battle with lupus.

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Gomez said she has no doubt that her kidney donor, actress and close friend Francia Raísa, saved her life.

“Because she did. That’s it,” she told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie in an interview clip that aired Friday. “I guess I got to the point where it was really kind of life or death.”

Gomez revealed she had the transplant in an Instagram post that included a photo of her and Raísa, 29, holding hands and lying in side-by-side hospital beds following their surgeries.

There are two types of lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. One form, discoid lupus, only affects the skin. Systemic lupus erythematosus, however, harms the skin, joints, kidneys and brain and may be fatal, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Gomez told TODAY that she was reluctant to seek a donor after learning she needed a transplant to save her life.

“My kidneys were just done. That was it and I didn't want to ask a single person in my life,” she told Savannah. “And she volunteered and did it."

Raísa, who stars in the upcoming Freeform series “Grown-ish," first met Gomez about a decade ago at a charity event organized by Disney and ABC Family.

Gomez treated her lupus with chemotherapy in 2014. She also took time off last year to deal with anxiety, panic attacks and depression prompted by the disease.

Her full interview with TODAY airs on Monday and Tuesday.

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