Vanessa Hudgens revealed her father is battling cancer during an emotional speech on Wednesday night (Aug. 19).
The 26-year-old actress and her boyfriend, Austin Butler, attended the 2015 Industry Dance Awards & Cancer Benefit Show in Los Angeles, which benefits The Circle Of Hope, a charity for dancers who have cancer.
While accepting her award for Breakthrough Performer, Vanessa spoke about her and Austin’s personal ties to cancer, revealing her father Greg’s recent diagnosIs, and reflecting on the passing of Austin’s mom last September.
“Last year, my boyfriend, Austin, lost his mom, Lori, to cancer, and my dad has just been recently diagnosed with stage four cancer,” Vanessa said. “And let me tell you, I hate cancer. I hate cancer with every cell of my being. If you would have asked me two years ago what I thought of cancer, I would have said, 'Man, you know, it sucks. It's a horrible disease.' But that's only because I had not been faced with it personally.”
The actress, who recently starred in the musical "Gigi" on Broadway, hinted at her father’s illness last month with a photo of them on Instagram, writing, “My daddy and I. Please pray for his healing!!! The more prayers the better.”
“This award, it means a lot to me but I dedicate it to my boyfriend’s mom, Lori, my dad, and to all the families out there who are struggling with this,” she continued Wednesday night. “Because it really takes a strong person and a strong family to be able to help those out who are going through this.”