Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden has revealed how her fellow professionals have helped her after opening up about her battle with Crohn's disease. In last week's issue of HELLO!, the pro dancer confessed she has been suffering with the disease since she was a child and how she doesn't want the condition, which can leave her in severe pain and vomiting uncontrollably, affect her work. Appearing on Wednesday's This Morning, Amy explained that the other professional dancers are aware of her condition.
Amy Dowden won't let Crohn's disease affect her work
"All the Strictly dancers know," she shared. "I don't want sympathy, so it is not something I will sit and talk about. Sometimes they will look at me and think, 'Oh Amy is not right today'. They all know deep down. But Oti [Mabuse] and Diane [Buswell] have seen it first-hand. I was living with Oti and had a night of terrible vomiting and pain and, bless her, she spent all night with me and then went off to rehearsals the next day."
On how it affects her work with Strictly, she said: "I don't allow it to worry me. Positive attitude is the best mentality. But the doctor said it you want to achieve these dreams, you have to be positively strong… the production team on Strictly are incredible… straight away we are on top of it and so is my doctor." However, Amy went on to reveal that she could be forced to pull out of a live show if she falls sick on the day. "That is a possibility but anybody could have a sickness bug on the day and anybody could have an injury," she explained. "There is always a back-up plan. I talk about it with the production team and they are on top of it."
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Last week, Amy made the brave decision to go public with her condition in a bid to help others. "When I got my job on Strictly Come Dancing I didn’t want to be known as 'Amy with Crohn's'. I wanted to establish myself as 'Amy the dancer' first," she told HELLO!. "But I've done two seasons on the show now, and I think it's important to speak out. It will be a relief that people will finally know, but I don’t want any sympathy. It doesn't define me, it's just part of me, and I want this to be a positive story."
"People are often shocked by my day to day but for me it’s just normal," added the 27-year-old, who is now working with Crohn's and Colitis UK. "There are occasions when I’m on tour, like the other week on Here Come the Girls, when I’m being sick in between the dances," said Amy, who is engaged to dancer Ben Jones. "The theatre wanted to call an ambulance. But the performance must go on. I come out and put a smile on my face. It won’t stop me."
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