Former Asia’s sprint queen Lydia De Vega Mercado has taken a lot of battles on the athletics field and won most of them.
This time she’s fighting again, with her life on the line, against the dreaded Big C.
Diay, as she is fondly called in the sporting world, is in critical condition due to complications caused by Stage 4 breast cancer.
According to her daughter Stephanie, a former volleyball standout at Dela Salle University, her mother “was diagnosed with this in 2018 and has been silently fighting the disease for the past 4 years. As the disease is progressing, her condition is quickly worsening despite undergoing many procedures including brain surgery.”
The family is requesting prayers and financial assistance.
“I am requesting everyone to please pray for her in this desperate time of need. If anyone would like to assist financially to cover her medical expenses, any donation would be deeply and whole-heartedly appreciated,” said the younger Mercado in an Instagram post.
“President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gave instruction, upon learning the situation of our legend Lydia ‘Diay’ de Vega, to give and extend necessary assistance,” Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Executive Director and Officer In Charge Guillermo Iroy Jr.
Mercado was the toast of Philippine athletics in the 1980s, having won the 100m and 200m gold medals in the Asian Athletics Championship in 1983 and 1987 and the 100m gold medal in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games.
A product of Project Gintong Alay during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., in 1979, Mercado competed and won multiple medals in the Southeast Asian Games from 1981 to 1993. She ruled the 100m and 200m runs in her farewell performance in Singapore in 1993.