Vanessa Hudgens got emotional as she opened up about her father Greg Hudgens' battle with cancer during the 2015 Industry Dance Awards & Cancer Benefit Show held at Avalon in Hollywood Wednesday. The event was held to benefit The Circle of Hope, a charity that supports dancers who survive cancer.
Before Vanessa took the stage to accept the award for Breakthrough Performer, the Galia Lahav-clad Gigi actress posed on the red carpet with boyfriend Austin Butler.
Vanessa first revealed that her dad was in poor health weeks earlier via Instagram, writing, "Please pray for his healing!!! The more prayers the better." During her speech, she discussed his diagnosis, saying, "Last year, my boyfriend, Austin, lost his mom, Lori, to cancer, and my dad has just been recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. 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,'" Vanessa admitted. "But that's only because I had not been faced with it personally."
Vanessa told the audience that the award "means a lot." The former High School Musical actress then dedicated it to Greg and Lori, "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."
Austin's mom passed away in September, but at the time, he didn't reveal her cause of death. Instead, the Carrie Diaries actor asked his fans to "celebrate" her life, adding, "I love you and will miss you every day Mom." Vanessa also expressed her grief on Twitter, writing, "Lori, RIP. You'll be forever alive in our hearts & mind. You'll always be our angel in heaven watching over us. U will be missed!"
Meanwhile, find out how Kerry Washington is standing up to cancer: