Strictly’s Amy Dowden makes heartbreaking vow as friend dies from cancer amid own battle

Strictly favourite Amy Dowden made a heartbreaking promise to her "ray of sunshine" friend who died of cancer.

The 33-year-old professional dancer shared the incredibly moving words in honour of her friend, Nicky Newman, who was just 35 when she died.

The influencer and cancer campaigner was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer five years ago, and has become a close friend of Amy's since she received her own diagnosis earlier this year.

Sharing a post from Nicky's page – which included a message from Nicky beginning "If you're reading this it means I have died" – Amy thanked her late friend for being a true inspiration.

"I promise to grab life and deeply miss your radiance and positivity," Amy wrote.

Fearless campaigner Nicky chose to announce her own death posthumously, making a final request of her 280k Instagram followers.

"So please promise me to cherish those around you and give your friends and loved ones the biggest squeezes!", she wrote. "GO GRAB LIFE! You never truly know what is coming around the corner – so don’t take anything for granted."

Following in Nicky's footsteps, Amy has been sharing her own cancer journey on her social media, in an effort to encourage other women to check their breasts.

Speaking candidly about her latest round of treatment, she discussed her sadness at losing her hair following her gruelling rounds of chemotherapy.

"'I think I cry less now," she shared. "To begin with, it was every day, but now I have meltdowns when I wash my hair once a week. For the last two weeks now, I haven't brushed my hair and that has definitely helped."

She continued, "Since I came out of hospital with the blood clots, I stopped brushing it myself because I was just getting distraught seeing how much was falling out."

As the news series of Strictly was back on screens on Saturday, 16 September, Amy's absence was felt by everyone, including presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkelman, who paid a special tribute to their friend.

As they sat down to speak to the first few pairings, Tess acknowledged, "We are, of course, missing one of our professional dancers. Our gorgeous Amy Dowden is unwell and she can't be with us for the start of the series, but she's our Welsh dragon and we know she'll be back soon."

Earlier in the day the dancer reposted a photo from a previous visit with her "Strictly family", saying she was excited to watch the latest celebrities take to the ballroom.

"So grateful and lucky to have you all. Tune in tonight," she said. "Can't wait to support all my friends and their fabulous journeys this year and I'll be there when I can."

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