EXCLUSIVE: How The Weeknd and Selena Gomez's Close Friends Supported Her During Kidney Transplant

By

Selena Gomez was surrounded by those closest to her during her kidney transplant this summer -- including her boyfriend, The Weeknd.

While a source tells ET that they believe the "Starboy" singer canceled shows to be with Gomez, it was really a bonding experience for her and her friends. 

"This whole thing was more about her and the support of her girlfriends -- the ones in her very inner circle who have been with her since the beginning, like Francia," the source explains. "[Gomez] would have been perfectly happy keeping this private, but once it got out, they saw this as an opportunity to spread some positivity and shed light on donor transplants."

According to TMZ, The Weeknd was by Gomez's side in May when she was reportedly rushed to the hospital in Chicago for kidney failure. The outlet reports that the couple were in the city for The Weeknd's concert, at which point Gomez was already on a kidney transplant list. 

The 27-year-old singer also canceled his Quebec City concert on May 31, but said it was due to food poisoning. 

As for why Francia Raisa was Gomez's donor, a source close to the former Secret Life of the American Teenager star tells ET that she and Gomez have had a very strong bond for "about a decade" after meeting while volunteering at a hospital. "They're like sisters," the source says. "Their bond was strong then, now even more so." 

selena_gomez_BGUS_991299_015

Gomez appeared to be in good health while working on set of her untitled Woody Allen project in New York City on Thursday, just hours after revealing news of her transplant.

Photo: Backgrid

"None of Selena's family were matches and that it didn't take any convincing to get Francia to see if she was a match, and of course she was," the source continued. "They were already so close, if anyone was going to be a match, it seems fitting that it was her. It just made sense.”

"They've been through a lot and have always supported each other. Through ups and downs in careers, relationships, family stuff and illness. They are the real deal," ET's source added, revealing that Raisa became more spiritual in her early twenties and she and Gomez both feel they were supposed to meet for this larger purpose. "It did not take any convincing -- this was something Francia felt chosen to do." 

See more on the former Disney star's transplant reveal in the video below. 

Reporting by Darla Murray.