Now we know why Vanessa Hudgens asked fans to pray for her father's healing just a few weeks ago.
During an appearance at the 2015 Industry Dance Awards and Cancer Benefit Show at the Avalon in Hollywood Wednesday, the Gigi actress got emotional as she accepted the award for Breakthrough Performer, revealing that her dad has been battling cancer.
"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,'" she continued. "But that's only because I had not been faced with it personally."
"Last year, my boyfriend, Austin [Butler], lost his mom, Lori, to cancer, and my dad has just been recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer," she said, according to The Insider. "Let me tell you, I hate cancer. I hate cancer with every cell of my being."
Vanessa said the award meant "a lot" to her, and dedicated it to her dad, Austin's late mom, and to all families struggling with cancer. "Because it really takes a strong person and a strong family to be able to help those out who are going through this," she added. According to E! Online, the event was held to benefit The Circle of Hope, which supports dancers who have survived cancer.
About three weeks ago, Vanessa posted a sweet shot of herself hanging out with her dad and an adorable dog, captioning the photo, "My daddy and I. Please pray for his healing!!! The more prayers the better."
We're certainly sending our prayers – and thoughts – their way. It takes a lot of courage to share something so personal with fans, and we have no doubt doing so helped others who are going through the same thing.