Sasha Pieterse revealed on season 24 that she suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that made her gain 70 lbs in two years.
Julianne Hough found out that the terrible menstrual cramps she suffered were part of a larger problem: endometriosis and a ruptured ovarian cyst. In 2000, she was rushed to the hospital in pain, and had a laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrial tissue from her appendix. The surgery helped the pain, but she still has to manage it through exercise (like dance!), hot baths, and eating healthy.
Witney Carson was supposed to start her first season of DWTS (18) when she discovered that the mole on her foot was melanoma. She immediately underwent surgery to remove the mole along with the lymph nodes in her hip. After four weeks of recovery, she was back on the dancefloor!
Tamar Braxton left DWTS in 2015 after learning that the condition sidelining her wasn’t pneumonia, but blood clots in her lungs. She was hospitalized and had to cancel her tour, as well.
Kym Johnson performing with Mr. T
Mr. T revealed on season 24 of DWTS that he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in 1995 after spotting a small sore on his ear. He said he “went numb” when he heard his diagnosis, and that the experience has changed him forever.
The actor did four weeks of radiation, but the cancer returned. After chemotherapy and more radiation, he was deemed cancer-free several years later.
Karina Smirnoff revealed in 2016 that she was diagnosed as an adult with ADHD, a condition that is usually diagnosed in childhood. She said that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder helps her with ballroom dancing, because “I can just keep going and going. It’s very rewarding.”
Carrie Ann Inaba
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba opened up shortly after joining DWTS about her struggle with spinal stenosis, a condition that narrows part of the spine. She believes it’s from years of dancing. She had surgery to relieve the pain, and manages the condition with exercise and massage.
‘Little Women: LA’ star Terra Jolé revealed after season 23 of DWTS that she suffered from an unspecified health issue that “may change [her] path in life.”
Valerie Harper was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014, and told she only had months to live. She defied the odds and competed on DWTS. “When life asks you to dance, you just have to dance,” she told People.
Kim Zolciak had to leave season 21 of DWTS after suffering from a mini-stroke (TIA). After a redeye flight from LA to Atlanta, Kim felt numb on the left side of her body and couldn’t speak. Doctors found that she had a hole in her heart, and she had to undergo heart surgery. She’s ok!
In between seasons, head judge Len Goodman underwent surgery for prostate cancer. He found out in the middle of the previous season, but doctors said he could wait. He was back at the judges table by the time the next season started!
’80s teen star Debbie Gibson originally turned down DWTS five years ago because of debilitating Lyme Disease. She said that the symptoms, like pain and fatigue, come in cycles. But she has her symptoms under control at the moment, and is kicking ass on season 25.
Nancy Kerrigan revealed her heartbreaking struggle with infertility on season 24. She suffered six miscarriages in eight years after the birth of her son in 1996. A decade later, she concieved a son and a daughter through in vitro fertilization.
Paralympian swimmer and ESPN personality Victoria Arlen revealed before season 25 that she suffers from two rare autoimmune conditions. Her parents had her watch DWTS to inspire her.
“The lights when out,” Victoria said about her illness, which was diagnosed when she was 11. “I was trapped inside my body, unable to move, talk and function … I had to prepare for the possibility of dying. [DWTS] was a motivating factor to start my recovery.”
Mark Ballas managed to dodge major health problems by quitting smoking in 2015. The DWTS pro started having trouble breathing, especially when he was dancing. He quit before it got any worse, and he’s much better now.