- Celebrities are not immune to health issues.
- Several celebrities have had organ transplants, with kidney transplants being the most common.
- Some celebrities have even donated their own organs after death.
In recent years, many celebrities have been candid about their health journeys, sharing stories about everything from everyday wellness to life-saving organ donations.
These celebrities have spoken out about their experiences donating an organ or receiving a donated organ.
Selena Gomez needed an emergency kidney transplant in 2017. Actress Francia Raísa stepped in.
The singer had previously been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus, which then caused complications for her kidneys. Where Gomez was on the donor list, she later shared, would have had a seven- to 10-year wait, and she was going to have to be put on dialysis.
Gomez’s roommate and close friend actress Francia Raísa stepped in and donated her kidney to Gomez. The two later shared the emotional story.
“She lived with me in this interesting time where my kidneys were just done. That was it and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life,” Gomez told the “Today Show.” “The thought of asking somebody to do that was really difficult for me. And she volunteered and did it… The fact that she was a match, I mean, that’s unbelievable.”
Sarah Hyland has had two kidney transplants.
CNN reported that the “Modern Family” star’s father gave her the first kidney after Hyland was diagnosed with kidney dysplasia, which causes the kidneys to not develop properly. In 2017, the donor kidney had to be removed and replaced because Hyland’s body was rejecting it. Her younger brother Ian donated the second kidney.
Hyland has opened up about how the surgery affected her – “For a long time, I was contemplating suicide because I didn’t want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad,” Hyland told SELF.
She has recovered from the surgery and is on immunosuppressants.
“Dallas” star Larry Hagman received a liver transplant in 1995.
Hagman played J.R. Ewing on the soap opera “Dallas” in the late ’70s through the early ’90s. In the mid-’90s. He was diagnosed with cirrhosis, scarring of the liver, so severe that doctors said he had about six months to live, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But he ended up getting a liver transplant in 1995 and living until 2012. He died at 81.
Robert Redford’s son James had two liver transplants.
According to IndieWire, ulcerative colitis, a chronic illness, wreaked havoc on James’ liver and required a transplant.
The first transplant he had was botched, and the second one came just in time to save his life.
James, who is a documentary film director and producer, went on to produce the 1999 documentary “The Kindness of Strangers” which took a deeper look at people who give and receive organ donations. He also founded the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, which educates people on the importance of being an organ donor.
Tracy Morgan thanked his kidney donor when talking to the press.
In 2010, Morgan’s then-girlfriend donated a kidney to him, according to Essence. Though they later ended their relationship, he still thanked her while talking to reporters on the red carpet of the 2011 SAG Awards.
“I’d like to thank Tanisha for donating my kidney to me,” Morgan told E!, according to Essence.
The comedian had been in need of a transplant due to complications from diabetes.
George Lopez’s then-wife donated her kidney to him in 2005.
Lopez needed a transplant after kidney disease rendered his organs so small they did not show up on an ultrasound, according to WebMD. His then-wife, Ann Lopez, famously gave him hers.
Although the couple has since divorced, TV Guide reported that they had founded the Ann and George Lopez Foundation while they were still together to raise kidney disease awareness.
The foundation now only bears George’s name.
Lucy Davis was diagnosed with kidney failure during a routine exam.
According to the Telegraph, Davis underwent a routine exam before beginning work on the “Pride and Prejudice” miniseries. During the exam, she was diagnosed with kidney failure and her mother ended up donating her kidney in 1995. Today, Davis is a working actress, appearing as Aunt Hilda on Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and as Dawn in the UK version of “The Office.”
She is also an ambassador for the charity Kidney Research UK.
Singer Natalie Cole got a kidney from a fan.
According to CNN, Cole’s search for a kidney transplant to rectify complications from hepatitis was well publicized.
During an appearance on “Larry King Live,” dozens of fans sent emails saying they’d be willing to get tested to see if they were a match for Cole. Eventually, in 2009, Cole was gifted a kidney transplant from a deceased fan, per CNN. After that, Cole lived another six years before dying of heart failure in 2015.
Mandy Patinkin received transplants to help him see.
According to the New York Times, “The Princess Bride” actor was diagnosed with an eye disease called keratoconus in the ’90s and has since had two corneal transplants.
Now he’s an organ donation advocate. “What are you gonna do after you go?” he told CBS. “What are you gonna do with the part [of your body]? Let somebody improve the quality of someone’s life. It’s an extraordinary gift, and a wonderful way to live on.”
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