Move aside, Taylor Swift…Selena Gomez is America’s new sweetheart and her fans are some of the most loyal you will ever find. Last summer, they were quick to observe that the star took some lengthy and unexpected private time with little explanation as to why.

Gomez is now opening up with her fans in a touching Instagram post accompanied by an in-depth caption outlining the details of her struggle.

She begins by saying:

“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.”

Gomez also included a link to the Lupus Research Alliance website in an attempt to shed more light and educate others on this unique disease.

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