Anthony Taberna’s daughter Zoey shares battle with leukemia


Anthony Taberna’s eldest child Zoey has opened up on her battle with leukemia, saying she “stayed strong and did my best” despite feeling “very scared” after her diagnosis last year.

“One year ago today, I was rushed to the hospital at 2 a.m. because I couldn’t walk and my legs were so painful. We had no idea on what was happening to me. At first, we thought I had a problem with my bones. But after running multiple tests, I was diagnosed with bone marrow disease, which ended up to be leukemia,” the 12-year-old recalled in an Instagram post.

“I was very scared. Just the word ‘leukemia’ itself made me so afraid, especially since I had to undergo chemotherapy. I needed to chop off all my hair. And that made me very insecure and sad all the time. I really thought my life would already end there. But no. I stayed strong and did my best.”

Meanwhile, Zoey’s mother Rossel Velasco-Taberna recalled how she felt when their daughter was diagnosed with the disease.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Rossel said she got “so scared and guilty” over Zoey’s diagnosis, which came as a shock on December 2, 2019.

“I cannot help but blame myself. Bakit hindi ko nalaman sooner? Why didn’t I notice your abrupt weight-loss? I felt so guilty for being extra busy and I know in my heart, kasalanan ko,” said Rossel.

She then shared that her husband would console and remind her “that it’s no one’s fault and that we are just facing a major life challenge.”

Rossel went on to express her admiration for her daughter for facing her cancer battle with courage. 

“Takot na takot ako, Atch pero napakatapang mo.? You don’t even complain and it hurts me even more.? Kahit alam ko na masakit na masakit, you tried to stay calm because you didn’t want us to worry.?

“Ni ayaw mo kami gisingin ni Daddy mo ‘pag madaling araw when you want to pee dahil ayaw mo kami maabala. ‘Cos you know we’re always tired. Sobrang bait mo, anak,” she added.

Rossel’s revelation came after her daughter told her that she herself wanted to post a photo of her shaved head “because I’m not scared anymore.”

“Feeling emotional today but Zoey’s message and post turned the emo Mom in me into one proud Mommah. Kahit na pinaiyak niyo nanaman ako at ng Daddy mo, I’m super happy ‘cos you’ve finally decided to show the world how beautiful you are — with or without hair.”

Anthony Taberna earlier admitted to being in tears every time he would watch the video of her daughter getting her head shaved. But the veteran broadcaster took pride in her bravery.

“Nakangiti siya pero alam kong durog na durog ang puso niya nung nag umpisang malugas ang kaniyang buhok dahil sa chemotherapy…Hanga ako sa tapang ng aming panganay. I love you, Zoey,” said Anthony. 

Lyka Nicart
Lyka Nicart
Lyka Nicart wanders on the internet, hearts Kpop (and ofc her bias), loves everything purple. When she's not writing, she's fighting with her dear cat.