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Debbie Gibson on Doing ‘DWTS’ While Battling Lyme Disease: ‘My Spirit Wants to Win This’ (Exclusive)

Four years after her Lyme disease diagnosis, Debbie Gibson is preparing to compete on Dancing With the Stars.

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The “Foolish Beat” singer, 47, sat down with Us Weekly exclusively to reveal how her illness has impacted her performance abilities and experiences thus far on the reality talent show. “My spirit wants to win this,” she told Us on Wednesday, September 6, at NYC’s Planet Hollywood. “Though I am telling my body that it has to keep up, which is a big part of why I’m doing the show.”

Debbie Gibson Dancing With The Stars DWTS
Debbie Gibson on ‘Dancing With The Stars.’

Alan Bersten, Gibson’s professional dancing parter on the hit ABC show, also weighed in on his costar’s condition. “Deb’s been dealing with Lyme disease for the past four years and it takes a huge tole on your body. I’ve witnessed that firsthand. Everyday is a challenge because you don’t know if your body is going to work the same way that it did yesterday,” the So You Think You Can Dance alum, 23, explained. “So everyday in rehearsal is a gamble of whether it’s going to be an amazing day because she gives me so much energy and so much pride into her work or if it’s going to be a struggling day where she wants to give all of that, but her body physically isn’t letting her. I think mentally she is there. She wants to win this.”

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The “Out in My Dreams” songstress added, “I’m just at a point that if I think too far ahead, I won’t get out of bed in the morning. I take it a day at a time, a dance at a time and just stay in tune with where my body is now and I need to take care of myself. I can feel when I’m pushing myself to a normal kind of soreness and when I’m maybe pushing a muscle or a joint that is connected to a miriam that is not happy or something else where I go, ‘Oh, if I continue down this path, we’re going to end up missing three days of rehearsals so I need to call it short today.”

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Bersten then chimed in to express his support for the ‘80s pop star. “We’re very in tune with her body. Never want to do anything that could known on wood, take us out of the competition. We have a lot of communication when we’re creating the dance.”

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