Debbie Gibson is already a winner in week one of Dancing With the Stars.
As a brand-new season kicked off Monday night on ABC, one contestant left many viewers inspired thanks to her first big performance since being diagnosed with Lyme disease.
“This is like a coming-out party. I’ve continued to perform here and there but I’ve been really scared to do something of this magnitude because I have unpredictable symptoms,” Debbie shared with co-host Erin Andrews. “My nervous system was acting out yesterday. I didn’t sleep last night. It really tests your strength.”
While she received 17 out of 30 on her first dance with partner Alan Bersten, the ’80s pop icon is ready to compete and push herself even if her symptoms act up.
“Today, it just feels like I haven’t slept in four days. But again, you know what, I’ve learned through this journey that everyone is going through something,” the “Only in My Dreams” singer explained after her first dance in the ballroom. “You can look at people and you just don’t know what they’re going through. So, you know, I’ve done more this month, in the past month, preparing for this show than I have in an entire year.”
For those unaware, Debbie was diagnosed with Lyme disease back in 2013 after she began experiencing debilitating pain, weight loss, joint pain and weakness and other symptoms.
She previously told People that she was offered the chance to participate in the ABC series but was “going through the fire again” at the time.
Fortunately, Debbie is ready for the challenge and is hoping to inspire those who are going through their own personal struggles.
“For anyone at home going through anything, I want to be here to say you don’t have to get stuck, you don’t have to curl up in a ball on your couch,” she shared. “You can live, you can get busy living.”
Dancing With the Stars airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. only on ABC.