Former California first lady Maria Shriver is crediting a friend with intellectual disabilities for helping her get through some rough times this year.

Shriver, who recently filed for divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger, spoke about her friend over the weekend at a fundraising event for Best Buddies.

“When I was going through my own challenges this year; feeling down and confused, I got an email from him. He wrote me a note saying, ‘You’re my best friend Maria and you will never be left out,'” People Magazine reports that Shriver said of her friend with intellectual disabilities. “When the world is so complicated, the simple gift of friendship is within all of our hands.”

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Shriver made the comments at the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle, a 100-mile bike race that she served as honorary chair of.

Best Buddies, which was founded by Shriver’s brother Anthony Shriver, promotes friendships between people with and without intellectual disabilities.