Adam Thomas, 34, diagnosed with chronic illness ahead of Strictly Come Dancing

Two days ago Waterloo Road star Adam Thomas was confirmed as the eighth Strictly Come Dancing contestant to join the 2023 series.

The 34-year-old star has now announced he has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

The NHS describes it as a ‘long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints’ with the main areas being affected the hands, feet and wrists.

The website adds that living with arthritis ‘isn’t easy’ and carrying out everyday tasks can ‘often be painful and difficult’.

Adam took to Instagram with the news this evening, and said that the dancing show actually couldn’t have come at a better time for him.

The star confessed he’d suffered pain for six months now, and after a lot of back and forth with doctors, finally has a diagnosis.

While Adam admitted he was still learning about the disease, he thanked his family – wife of six years Caroline Daly, and two children Teddy and Elsie-Rose – for all their support

The actor admitted Strictly is ‘going to be tough’ but he’s ‘up for the challenge’ and still ‘can’t wait to get on the dance floor’.

‘Well it’s my birthday tomorrow and I turn 35!! How did that happen, does this mean I should stop acting like a kid now haha,’ Adam began.

‘As much as I act like a kid, my body is telling another story… I’ve been in a lot of pain since January, it started with my knees and then traveled to my wrists, fingers and now ankles and toes.

‘I never knew what was happening and finally after several blood tests and back and forth to doctors and hospitals, I’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid Arthritis!

‘I thought that was something people, later on in there life get… but that’s not the case, clearly!

‘It’s been a tough old year but … Finally I’m on the right plan now! Finally getting it under control. For now! 👀 But some days are better than others and am not going to lie, it’s been hard not being able to train properly, it’s has had a huge knock on effect for me personally, but not only that for my family too!!

‘And I just want to say thank you to @carolinethomas23 and the kids for going on this journey with me, as I know it’s been challenging and frustrating at times but hopefully we’re on the right path now!

‘I don’t know too much about the condition yet as am still learning but,what i have done is learnt a lot about myself and the fact I’d be lost with out this lot!

‘The reason I signed up to strictly is because I just want to be able to move again, get fit and do it, all with a smile on my face!

‘It really couldn’t have come at a better time I’m a firm believer of everything happening for a reason, and I know the journey I’ve been on was meant to happen, to never take small things in life for granted! …Like going for a run, playing with my kids and just being able to walk with no pain!

‘I know it’s going to be tough and I’ve definitely got my work cut out but am up for the challenge and can not wait to get on that dance floor!!

‘I suppose the reason am telling you this is if anyone out there, is suffering what ever your situation… stay strong get the right help where and when you can!

‘But most importantly stay positive! ❤️’

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