‘Dancing with the Stars’ Witney Carson says she was ’embarrassed’ to reveal cancer diagnosis to producers
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Witney Carson was fighting his own battle in his first season on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Carson, 28, told People magazine she nearly missed her ‘dream’ when she found out she had been diagnosed with melanoma, a form of skin cancer, weeks before his arrival in Los Angeles in 2014.
“I finally got this call that was going to skyrocket my career,” she told the outlet. “It was my dream.”
Before she knows it, the world here has been turned upside down.
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“All of a sudden I was diagnosed with melanoma and, of course, being myself, I’m like, ‘It’s okay. I can still go on the show,'” she said of the season she starred alongside Cody Simpson.
The ‘DWTS’ vet noted that she was “embarrassed” to reveal her diagnosis because she wanted people to think she was healthy.
“I think I was only embarrassed by the fact that I was an athlete and I was supposed to embrace all that was healthy and fit. I was supposed to do all the right things to be an athlete, and that So it was embarrassing for me to be like, ‘Yeah, I had, I was sick. I was literally sick,’ she said. “The producers didn’t know. My partner didn’t know. I wanted people to think I was perfectly healthy.”
For Carson, there was no way she was missing out on this opportunity, even if it meant she would be dancing before the doctors cleared it.
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“I’m walking into my first day of rehearsals, just going all out,” Carson said. “The doctor didn’t clear me for anything active. I just decided to do it anyway, because how could I not do it? It’s my dream. So I’m going, I’m doing all routine. I’m like, ‘My foot is so sweaty. I’m so sweaty. This is so weird,’ and I looked down and my white tennis shoe is just covered in blood, just covered in blood. I tore my stitches. I had to have my foot wrapped every week after doing the live show. So if you watch the videos again, you’ll see my left foot wrapped in gauze.
Carson, who was diagnosed with skin cancer at 19, thinks her use of tanning beds in high school could have contributed to it. Both of her parents are also melanoma cancer survivors – genetics play a role in melanoma.
“I haven’t set foot in a tanning bed since I was diagnosed at 19,” she said. “I haven’t set foot there.”
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Carson is now a collaborator with EltaMD Skin Care for their “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” campaign to help raise awareness for skin cancer prevention and promote sun safety.
Carson and her husband, Carson McAllister, take preventive measures to protect their one-year-old, Kevin Leo McAllister, from the sun by applying sunscreen to him from an early age.