The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is lending a helping hand to track legend Lydia de Vega-Mercado, who is in critical condition following Stage 4 breast cancer complications.

Lydia de Vega-Mercado

POC President Bambol Tolentino said he will donate P100,000 financial assistance to de Vega-Mercado, who has been silently but courageously fighting cancer for four years now.

“Yes, I will give P100,000 direct to the hospital from my personal account,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino came to the rescue after Stephanie de Koenigswarter, De Vega-Mercado’s daughter, made the call for help in a social media post Wednesday.

It also came a day after the Philippine Sports Commission through executive director and officer-in-charge Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr. gave assistance upon the instruction of no less than President Bongbong Marcos himself.

Prayers and support also poured shortly after Stephanie announced her condition on social media Wednesday, including some past and present volleyball players like Melissa Gohing, Gretchen Ho, Jem Ferrer, Mika Reyes, and Charo Soriano, to name a few.

It can be recalled that Stephanie played volleyball for La Salle during her collegiate years, as well as in the Premier Volleyball League.

De Vega Mercado is one of the country’s sports icons, being hailed as Asia’s fastest woman in the 1980s.

She competed in the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympics and has won numerous accolades in the Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Athletics Championships.

She first made an impact in the 1981 SEA Games held in Manila with a gold-medal feat in the 200 and 400-meter events exceeding records sets at the Asian Games.

Source: Manila Bulletin (