Paralympic star Will Bayley is one of the new stars of the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing line-up, and found out on Saturday that he has been partnered with pro dancer Janette Manrara. And Janette certainly has an inspirational dance partner to train up. Will was left fighting for his life as a child after battling blood cancer, and opened up about his journey on Instagram just ahead of the show. Posting a picture of himself as a little boy, he wrote: "From rock bottom battling blood cancer fighting for my life, and a severe arthritic condition, soon I will be going on the biggest show on TV." He continued: "Now I can't wait to show that anything is possible! Even dancing great to have @greatormondst behind me! Let’s change the way people think and reach for the impossible #underdog what you can do, not what you can't!"
Strictly star Will Bayley battled blood cancer as a child
Many of Will's fans were quick to comment, with one writing: "Anything is possible, good luck Will Bayley!" while another wrote: "Cheering you on all the way." A third added: "Your going to be fantastic and a huge inspiration to many." The 31-year-old will no doubt do well on the dance floor with Janette's help, and has already achieved so much. In 2017 he was awarded an MBE for services for table tennis and is currently training for the Tokyo 2020 games. He also recently won gold at the Japan Open 2019. Will has suffered with arthrogryposis since he was born, a rare condition that affects all four of his limbs. He is classified as a Class 7 Paralympic athlete and was one of the stars of London 2012 and Rio 2016 games, winning consecutive silver and gold medals.
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Will has been partnered with Janette Manrara on Strictly Come Dancing
After being announced as one of the celebrities on Strictly, Will said: "I'm so proud to be on the show, it's my family's favourite show. I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. I want to inspire people with a disability- that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this."
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Janette and Will have been getting on like a house on fire since their first day of training on Monday. After hearing that Janette was his partner, Will shared a sweet photo of the pair on Instagram and wrote: "Delighted to have this one by my side. Let's go all the way." Janette was equally as thrilled. She posted a video on her own Instagram account showiing the moment Will found out who he was being paired with. She wrote: "I cannot wait @willbayleytt! Bring on 2019! We've got this Champ!! Team name coming soon! Cannot wait!" The pair have since come up with a team name, revealing on Tuesday night that they will be known as Pocket Racket.
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