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[Editor’s note: The following is a press release from Hope from Within]
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – From literally being mobbed by hormone-fueled teen fans to struggling through a dipping showbiz career, to greeting a new day with a morning show, and to ending the day with the evening news, Diego Castro has worn many hats as a public personality.
But if there’s one role he’s most proud of and most passionate about, it would be this: being a cancer awareness advocate.
Diego Castro’s life story is one that can’t be told without mentioning his father, Angelo Castro. In many ways, the two are alike.
They’re both actors. Angelo starred in films like Bakya Mo Neneng (1977) with Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and Kumander Alibasbas (1981) with Joseph Estrada and Paquito Diaz.
Diego, on the other hand, starred in the popular teen television series in ABS-CBN, Gimik, from 1996 to 1999, Esperanza and Growing Up in 1997, Kasalanan Bang Ibigin Ka in 2012, Strawberry Lane and The Borrowed Wife in 2013.
Angelo and Diego are both broadcast journalists as well. Angelo was a news anchor at The World Tonight with Loren Legarda in 1986, while Diego is currently at UNTV News and Good Morning Kuya.
Connected by their similarities and by blood, their life stories are intertwined. And it’s precisely Angelo’s lung cancer journey that moved Diego to become a cancer awareness advocate.
Understanding the struggles of cancer patients and their loved ones, Diego advocates for early testing to detect malignancies. “Keep on getting tested. Stay alive for your loved ones,” he shares.
He recounts the time when he first knew of his dad’s cancer—this happening at the backdrop of having a strained relationship with his father. Thirty seconds into knowing his father’s condition, he wept with the realization that “Just when I was resolved to trying to fix things with my dad, all of a sudden, […] I have four months to resolve things with [him].”
Even though Angelo outlived the doctor’s prognosis, Diego felt they could have been with him longer if his dad got tested earlier and if there were more innovative treatments available that time.
Knowing full well how harrowing it is of a journey for cancer patients and loved ones, Diego now is a mouthpiece of hope. He is part of the advocacy coalition Hope from Within: Test, Talk, Take Action against Lung Cancer, together with MSD in the Philippines, Department of Health, Philippine Society of Oncologists, Philippine Society of Medical Oncology, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
He was at a life’s crossroad when he found himself at the advocacy. Having doubts in his career, he was constantly contemplating where he wanted to go in life. He found purpose in being an ambassador for a cause that’s very close to his heart.
Know more about Diego Castro’s story—a story of a son who fought his father’s cancer—below. — Rappler.com