'Strictly' dancer Amy Dowden opens up about secret health battle
Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden has opened up about her battle with Crohn’s disease.
Dowden spoke about the condition during an appearance on This Morning when she told hosts, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, that she didn’t want to be defined by it.
“I’m not Amy with Crohn's. I’m Amy the dancer. It won’t define me. I believe it was meant to happen. It's made me stronger,” she told the hosts.
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“I don’t allow it to worry me. I think a positive attitude is the best.”
Despite suffering from the symptoms from childhood, Dowden, who was partnered with Death in Paradise actor Danny John-Jules during the latest series of Strictly, was only diagnosed at the age of 19.
"I was hardly in school. I was in and out of hospital. It took until 19 until I got diagnosed. It came with a vengeance when I was 18,” the professional dancer recalled.
"My body couldn't cope. It shut down. I'd need to go to hospital."
Due to the nature of her job and the hectic schedule that comes with being a part of Strictly, Downden revealed that the production team are always on hand to help.
“A slight symptom, I’m on to it. The production team on Strictly are incredible.”
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Going on to reveal that the team have a back up plan in place if she were to fall ill during the live shows, Dowden added: “I guess that is a possibility - but anybody could come down with a sickness bug on the day or have an injury.
"There's always a back up plan. I talk to the production team and we're on top of it."
“I don’t want sympathy. It's not something I'll sit and talk about. Sometimes they’ll see me and think Amy is down today. Deep down I think they know,” she said in relation to whether her fellow dancers know about the condition.