Local doctors hope news of Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant will inspire more living donors

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A Hollywood superstar made a shocking admission about her health. Selena Gomez revealed Thursday she recently had a kidney transplant.

It was a special friend who gave her the gift of life. Local doctors say they hope this Hollywood headline will put a spotlight on the importance of living donors.

Selena Gomez told fans on social media she recently had a kidney transplant to help in her fight against lupus. The donor is her best friend, actress Francia Raisa.

"A household name shares their story like this to help people be more educated about kidney transplant and kidney donation because we do three times as much deceased donor transplants than living donors," IU Health Transplant Nephrologist, Dr. Dennis Mishler said.

Dr. Mishler says there are more benefits to patients receiving a living donor kidney.

"The deceased donor is outside the body longer so it doesn't have as good a start as a living donor," Mishler said.

Living donor kidney last about 10 years longer. Many people who are healthy enough to donate a kidney fear what would happen if they needed both of their kidneys later in life.

"Usually it's easier to donate to a loved one so it's less scary and you can watch over that person and their kidney. But usually one kidney will compensate and start doing 80% of what the two kidneys would do," Mishler said.

In an Instagram post Selena Gomez says "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice I love you so much sis." a gift more patients wish others would consider giving.

"She's very fortunate to have a great friend and this will bond them together for life," Mishler said.

More than 1,400 people in Indiana are waiting for life saving organ transplants. 1,200 of those people are waiting on kidneys, which are the world's most in-demand organ.

To learn more about becoming a living donor click here.

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