The Industry Dance Awards is an event aligned with Circle of Hope Dancers Foundation, a charity specifically made for dancers who have battled and overcome cancer. Vanessa was there accepting the award for "Breakthrough Performance" when she decided to use her acceptance speech to shed light on her dad's diagnosis.
In an emotional speech, the former High School Musical star revealed, "Last year my boyfriend Austin [Butler] lost his mom Lori to cancer and my dad has been recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer."
Vanessa and Austin aren't the only celebrities whose worlds have been rocked by cancer. Earlier this year, Taylor Swift revealed her mother has been diagnosed and Jacob Whitesides' mom was recently pronounced cancer-free after years of treatment.
"Let me tell you, I hate cancer," Vanessa said. "I hate cancer with every cell of my being."
After opening up about how the life-threatening disease has personally affected her life, Vanessa went on to make a very special dedication.
"This award 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 continued.
We can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Vanessa to open up like that in front of the crowd during an emotional time. What a brave thing to do, Nessa. Your friends at M are not only proud of you for sharing your family's story, but we're also thinking of your dad and sending positivity his way!
What's your reaction to Vanessa's dad's health struggles? Let us know in the comments and be sure to leave your well wishes for Papa Hudgens below!