In September, pop sensation Selena Gomez announced via Instagram that she had undergone a kidney transplant as a result of damage from living with lupus. “Lupus continues to be very misunderstood, but progress is being made,” the star posted on the social media site.1
When rheumatologist Irene Blanco, MD, MS, heard about Ms. Gomez’s post, her first thought was about how brave the 25-year-old singer is. The thought was powerful enough for Dr. Blanco, who is an attending rheumatologist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y., to comment on Ms. Gomez’s post.
“I’m sure she put this out there to be an example to other patients with lupus, and it was brave,” says Dr. Blanco. “I thought what she did was wonderful. It really opened up the discussion: ‘If you need a transplant, you can still be in your 20s—young, beautiful—and live your life to the fullest—with a transplant. You can still bounce back; you can still release an album; you can still go on tour.’”