"She's just one of the strongest women I know," Vanessa Hudgens said about Sarah Hyland

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Vanessa Hudgens couldn’t be prouder of fellow actress and longtime friend Sarah Hyland.

Hudgens, who has known Hyland, 28, for nearly a decade, sat down with PEOPLE Now on Tuesday, when she praised the Modern Family actress for her bravery after undergoing a second kidney transplant.

“I remember when she needed her first transplant and I remember when her body was rejecting it and I remember when she needed her second one,” said the 29-year-old Second Act star.

“I’m so proud of her for being brave to share her story with the world, because it was a very emotional and taxing thing on her,” said Hudgens. “She’s just one of the strongest women I know.”

Hyland revealed in an interview with SELF, released Monday, that she needed a second kidney transplant last year after the first one, from her father, failed.

Her 23-year-old brother Ian was thankfully a match and donated his kidney to his older sister, but Hyland said the entire situation left her “very depressed” and had her “contemplating suicide” because she was afraid of letting down her family members again after her body rejected the first kidney.

“I always will see her as this like tough New Yorker even though she’s so petite. She is small but mighty!” Hudgens said of Hyland. “I’m just really proud of her for sharing her truth.”

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Sarah Hyland and Vanessa Hudgens
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Fourteen months after the transplant surgery in September 2017, Hyland is now in a better state of mind, but still facing mental struggles every day with the illness.

“Not only has all of this been physically demanding, but the emotional and mental demands have been just as challenging,” a source close to Hyland previously told PEOPLE. “She has a chronic illness and she will have to deal with it for the rest of her life. She’s still working through it all.”

While the source said that Hyland is “doing great” overall, “she still has her hard days.”

“She’s now healthy when it comes to her kidneys. She’s doing well, and her levels are all good,” the source said. “But she is taking immunosuppressant drugs that make her very vulnerable to germs and disease so she has to be so cautious.”