Lydia de Vega battling Stage 4 breast cancer; family asks for support

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Philippines's sprint queen Lydia de Vega stretches out before a race in May 1985. (Photo: Tony Duffy /Allsport via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Philippines's sprint queen Lydia de Vega stretches out before a race in May 1985. (Photo: Tony Duffy /Allsport via Getty Images)

The family of Filipino track and field legend Lydia de Vega is asking for prayers and financial support as the star battles stage 4 breast cancer.

In a social media post on Wednesday (July 20), de Vega’s daughter Stephanie “Paneng” Mercado-de Koenigswarter said that her 57-year-old mother, one of the country’s biggest sports legends, “is in very critical condition.”

“My dearest mother, Lydia de Vega, is in very critical condition due to complications caused by her Stage 4 Breast Cancer condition,” De Vega’s daughter said in the post.

“She was diagnosed with [breast cancer] in 2018 and has been silently fighting the disease for the past four years,” she continued.

“As the disease is progressing, her condition is quickly worsening despite undergoing many procedures including brain surgery,” said Stephanie, a former volleyball player who played for De La Salle University.

Mercado-de Koenigswarter appealed for prayers and financial assistance for the medical expenses of De Vega.

“We are asking everyone to kindly pray for her and if anyone would like to assist us financially to cover her medical expenses, any donation would be deeply and whole-heartedly appreciated,” she added.

De Vega is one of the most decorated Filipino athletes in Philippine history, bringing home 15 gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, and Asian Athletics Championships.

She was dubbed as the Asia’s fastest woman in the 80s after she won the 100-meter dash events in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games. She retired from active competition in 1994 and briefly worked with the Philippine Sports Commission.

De Vega was among the flag bearers during the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games held at the Philippine Arena in 2019.

The de Vega family is accepting donations through BPI account number 3209095644, while donors and well-wishers may also contact them through cellphone number 09196005224.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

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