Bianca Umali continues to be passionate about breast cancer awareness, a cause close to her heart.
The actress attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of an art exhibit titled “Beyond Boundaries” at The Medical City. It was the first event for the hospital’s breast cancer awareness campaign. Part of the exhibit’s proceeds will go to the Divine Mercy Charity Fund for breast cancer patients.
On Instagram, the Kapuso Prime Gem opened up about losing her mom to the disease when she was five years old.
“I saw her very weak, unable to speak properly, losing all of her hair—slowly deteriorating,” she said. “I remember not being allowed to be around her. It felt as if I was constantly pushed away when all I wanted was to cling to my mother.”
Bianca said that at that time, she did not understand cancer and what her mom was going through, even thinking that she was no longer loved.
The actress said that her mom found out about her breast cancer when she was already at Stage 3.
“I recall people saying it was too late. We were prepared to lose all of our possessions just to save her. The whole family was in pain. I would watch everyone cry but not understanding why,” she said.
The people around Bianca did not give her clear answers on what was happening given her young age.
“For years I carried this pain. I was deeply hurt. It felt as if I was robbed of precious moments with my mom,” she said.
But now that she is older, Bianca understands what her mom endured.
“She was in unimaginable pain and felt so much fear. She wasn’t pushing me away, it wasn’t that she didn’t want me around her—it was that she did not want me to see her in that state,” she said.
“She wanted my memory of her to stay as her ‘healthy and beautiful’ self. She wasn’t turning her back on me because she didn’t want to see me, she was turning her back to hide her tears because she misses me so much too,” she added. “I wasn’t being kept outside her room because she did not want me there, I had to be kept outside of the room because she just finished radiation therapy and she didn’t want to risk me.”
Bianca added that she took part in the campaign because “I do not want another little girl or another woman to lose her mother to breast cancer or to go through the disease herself without any knowledge, awareness and hope.”
Plus, this is the actress’ way of paying tribute to her late mother. “Mommy, this is how I honor you. This one is for you.”
“The goal is to raise awareness of breast cancer through education about screening, symptoms, and treatment,” she said.
The Kapuso actress was orphaned at an early age. On top of losing her mother at age five, Bianca also lost her dad due to a heart attack when she was 10. She was raised by her grandmother, Mama Vicky.
In an interview on “Fast Talk with Boy Abunda” last March, Bianca hopes that she makes her parents proud.