Vanessa Hudgens revealed her father, Greg, has stage 4 cancer during a recent acceptance speech.
The 26-year-old actress attended the 2015 Industry Dance Awards in Los Angeles, Wednesday night, where she won Breakthrough Performer. The awards show benefits The Circle of Hope, a charity dedicated to helping dancers who have survived cancer.
During the star’s acceptance speech, she revealed that her father is currently battling cancer and that her boyfriend, whom she’s been dating since 2011, Austin Butler, lost his mother to cancer last year.
“Last year, my boyfriend, Austin, lost his mom, Lori, to cancer, and my dad has just been recently diagnosed with stage four cancer,” Hudgens said. “Let me tell you, I hate cancer. I hate cancer with every cell of my being.”
The star explained that her hatred towards the disease has grown, now fully understanding its effects.
“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,” she said.
Hudgens, who won for her recent performance as “Gigi” on Broadway, got emotional, as she dedicated her award to Butler’s late mother and her own father.
“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, because it really takes a strong person and a strong family to be able to help those out who are going through this,” she said.
Fans were curious last month after Hudgens posted a photo on Instagram with her father, asking for prayers. At the time, she did not reveal how sick her father, a former firefighter, had really been.
“My daddy and I <3 <3 <3 Please pray for his healing!!! The more prayers the better,” she captioned the photo.
On her personal blog, Vanessa posted pictures of her at the event, as well as a video of her acceptance speech.
“Last night I accepted the Breakthrough Performer Award at the Industry Dance Awards & Cancer Benefit Show,” she wrote. “This award means so much to me as I dedicate it to my father, Lori and every family who is battling cancer. I admire their strength and I pray for their healing. F*** cancer. Xx”