Hollywood actress Vanessa Hudgens says she is drawing strength from her Christian faith as her father Gregory, is battling stage 4 cancer. The former Disney princess who shot to fame playing the nerdy Gabriella Montes in the Disney original series High School Musical, asked her fans to pray for her father's recovery.
The 26-year-old Hudgens first came out about her family's heartbreaking ordeal last month as she accepted an award for Breakthrough Performer at the 2015 Industry Dance Awards and cancer benefit in Los Angeles for the benefit of the Circle of Hope Dancers Foundation.
He told People.com, "Last year, my boyfriend, Austin, lost his mom, Lori, to cancer, and my dad has just been recently diagnosed with stage four cancer. Let me tell you, I hate cancer. I hate cancer with every cell of my being."
She went on to say, "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."
"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 sadded.
However, Hudgens did not provide specific details about the type of cancer her father is suffering.
The former Disney princess shared a picture on Instagram showing him having a wonderful time with her father. She wrote on the picture, "My daddy and I. Please pray for his healing!!! The more prayers the better."
Hudgens had a renewal of faith since she started dating Austin Butler, 23, in 2011 who helped her revive her Christian faith. She also praised Australian megachurch Hillsong for it's unique approach to worship.
"It feels like Arcade Fire - it's epic like that," Hudgens told The New York Times in an interview early this year regarding the church's acclaimed worship band Hillsong United. "They really focus on you having your own personal relationship with Jesus, which is wonderful."
The Sydney, Australia-based Hillsong Church is known for its unique service with lively, concert-like worship services, and an estimated 50 million people sing their songs every Sunday. The church also has several locations around the world with more than 100,000 weekly attendees, including thriving congregations in New York and Los Angeles.
Hudgens has also been photographed attending church services at the Fifth Church of Christ Scientist on several occasions in Hollywood with Butler.
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