Selena Gomez is giving back for a cause that hits home.
The “It Ain’t Me” singer, who has previously been open about her struggles with lupus, donated to the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. The money will kickstart the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research.
Gomez was first diagnosed with lupus back in 2010. She had kept it a secret from the public eye until a flame up of the condition forced her to cancel her 2013 tour.
“I continue to be optimistic about the progress being made in lupus research and am proud to support the promising work at Keck School of Medicine,” Gomez shared in a statement. “I am hopeful for the millions of us around the world that may benefit from this.”
Gomez’s fund supports a pilot research program led by Janos Peti-Peterdi, M.D., PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics at USC. The program will focus on treating communications that come with having the autoimmune disease.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with Selena in her efforts to promote awareness and medical research toward a much-needed cure for lupus,” Peti-Peterdi also said in a statement. “Complications from systemic lupus cause serious damage, and we are hopeful that our research, with Selena’s support, will help those affected by this disease lead full, healthy lives.”
In August, Gomez put her Revival tour on the back burner to focus on her recovery from anxiety, panic attacks and depression. The symptoms were stemmed from her lupus diagnosis. A few months later, she returned from her hiatus to accept the award for favorite pop/rock female artist at the AMAs. During what was an emotional acceptance speech, Gomez expressed gratitude for her fans as they continued to show their support for the artist.