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Vanessa Hudgens: Dad's diagnosis was a 'mean joke'

Vanessa Hudgens: Dad's diagnosis was a 'mean joke'

Vanessa Hudgens' father's cancer diagnosis felt like a "mean joke".

The 27-year-old actress was left devastated when her dad Greg Hudgens lost his battle with the disease in January, five months after she first revealed he had been stricken by the condition, and admitted throughout his treatment she had thought he would "make it through".

She said of his initial diagnosis: "It felt like it was some mean joke.

"You think you're going to make it through, you're there with them every step of the way, holding their hand, wanting it to be OK.

"You always think that you're going to make it through and you're going to overcome it, but sometimes that doesn't happen.

"Cancer is very aggressive and it doesn't take pity on anyone or anything."

Vanessa - whose boyfriend Austin Butler lost his mother to the disease - was scheduled to perform as Rizzo in 'Grease: Live' the day after her dad died and she was thankful for the support of her castmates.

She told E! News: "Every day I came to work, they all hugged me, checked in on me, made sure I was doing OK.

"My dad passed away the night before my show, and it was shocking. I knew that it was coming, but nothing can prepare you for losing a parent.

"I dedicated my performance to my dad because I knew he was up there in heaven looking down on me as proud as can be."

Vanessa has now teamed with I Am a Dancer Against Cancer, a campaign which aims to raise money for cancer charities and works to provide financial support to members of the dance community who are suffering the effects of the illness.

She said: "I started dancing almost immediately after I learned how to walk. It will always be a part of who I am and how I express myself.

"When someone you love has cancer, it's a very hard thing to deal with for them and for you, but the thing that honestly got me through it was my community that I was surrounded by."