Vanessa Hudgens Reveals Her Father Has Cancer, Dedicates Award To His Battle

Vanessa Hudgens recently made a heartbreaking announcement to her fans: her father has been diagnosed with stage four cancer.

The 26-year-old actress, accompanied by her boyfriend Austin Butler, attended the 2015 Industry Dance Awards & Cancer Benefit Show in Los Angeles earlier this week. The event directly benefits The Circle Of Hope, a charity that helps dancers who have been diagnosed with cancer. Coincidentally, Hudgens used this event to announce that her father Greg was currently battling the monstrous disease.

Vanessa was attending the event to receive the award for Breakthrough Performer. While accepting the award, she gave an emotional speech where she discussed her father’s diagnosis, as well as Austin’s mother passing away the previous year.

“Last year, my boyfriend, Austin, lost his mom, Lori, to cancer, and my dad has just been recently diagnosed with stage four cancer,” Vanessa told the audience, according to ABC News. “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.”

Kenny Ortega, Vanessa’s former choreographer and director, was present at the ceremony, and even presented her with her award, which was something that was very special to the former High School Musical star.

“The fact that Kenny is here and giving me out my award is so amazing,” said Vanessa, according to Fox News. “It just really shows sometimes you meet people and they’re just kind of always there for you and that’s really special, especially in this industry.”

Although she was thrilled to be receiving the award, Vanessa took the opportunity to dedicate it to Austin’s mother, and her 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,” she added, fighting back tears as she discussed just how much she hates cancer. “Because it really takes a strong person and a strong family to be able to help those out who are going through this.”

Last month, the actress, who recently starred in the musical Gigi on Broadway, hinted at her father’s illness by sharing a photo of the pair on Twitter.

“My daddy and I. Please pray for his healing!!! The more prayers the better,” she captioned the photo that showed Hudgens, her father, and their family dog sitting together.

[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images]