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This warrior is 59: Gary Valenciano, predicted to die at 44, recalls winning over illnesses |

Health And Family

This warrior is 59: Gary Valenciano, predicted to die at 44, recalls winning over illnesses

Kristofer Purnell -
This warrior is 59: Gary Valenciano, predicted to die at 44, recalls winning over illnesses
Gary Valenciano with several pediatric cancer patients / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — Gary Valenciano reflected on his health issues through the years to pediatric cancer patients who graduated from chemotherapy.

"Mr. Pure Energy" was the special guest at the I Want To Share Foundation's third "Can Beat It!" event last February 24 in Manila Prince Hotel where 150 children with cancer were recognized for finishing their chemotherapy sessions.

Valenciano appeared after the kids were given their special diplomas, beginning his performance with his 2000 hit "Warrior Is A Child," happily acknowledging it was requested for him to sing at the occasion.

Toward the end of the song, several graduates walked up to Valenciano with electric candles, hugging the singer with mild tears.

The singer admitted to being touched by the children approaching him and had them guessing his age. The majority of guesses were mid-30s, and there was a round of applause when he revealed he was actually 59.

This even after Valenciano shared he's had diabetes since he was 14 years old and still takes medicine every day, quipping he could show the marks on his body.

Related: 150 kids with cancer 'graduate' from chemotherapy

"At the time the doctor said I could only live until I was around 44, maybe 48 but with eyesight problems... Now I'm here with you at 59," Valenciano, which elicited another round of applause.

He also opened up about his bypass surgery in 2018 after feeling fatigue and chest pains following a performance on musical variety show "ASAP" with his son Gab, sharing the intricate details of the operation to the children.

The operation was successful, however, Valenciano revealed that weeks later, his right kidney was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent another surgery, and a year later was declared cancer-free.

Valenciano's next song was "Ililigtas Ka Niya," penned by veteran songwriter Jonathan Manalo for the hit show "FPJ's Ang Probinsiyano" after it was requested by the series' star Coco Martin.

Before performing his final song — a remix of "Di Bale Na Lang" — Valenciano recounted his bouts with dengue, COVID-19, and hepatitis, which only enforced a reminder to maintain healthy living.

Several of the pediatric cancer patients sat with Valenciano onstage during his final performance, and he hinted being open to return for the foundation's future events.

The graduates completed their chemotherapy for different kinds of illnesses, including brain tumors, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, retinablastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and Wilms tumor.

RELATED: 'I refuse to die': Kris Aquino reveals worsening health condition, heart at extreme risk

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