'I lived in fear': Bianca Wallace reveals she wants to 'change lives' by speaking about her MS as she attends a fundraiser for the disease with her boyfriend Ioan Gruffudd
She recently revealed she'd been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.
The actress, 29, admitted she 'lived in fear' of what would happen if people found out she had MS as she spoke ahead of the SMS Battles Quiz for The MS Society at East Wintergarden in London.
Opening up: Bianca Wallace spoke about the 'overwhelming' response to her speaking of her MS diagnosis as she attended a fundraiser with her partner Ioan Gruffudd on Thursday
Bianca, who was diagnosed with MS three years ago, said: 'I wasn't sure when the moment would come for me to open up about my diagnosis.
'Like so many others I lived in fear of what would happen if people found out. I could have never predicted the overwhelming response that came with my post.
'Hearing how much I have already helped so many others on their own journey is why I will do whatever I can to support this cause.
'You never truly know how much you can help change lives until you do.'
Diagnosis: The actress, 29, admitted she 'lived in fear' of what would happen if people found out she had MS as she spoke ahead of the SMS Battles Quiz for The MS Society in London
The SMS Battles Quiz saw a star-studded guest list come together to raise vital funds for people living with multiple sclerosis.
Bianca looked effortlessly glamorous as she stepped out at the fundraiser alongside her actor partner Ioan, 48.
She looked sensational in a one-shouldered navy gown, which she teamed with a pair of black strapped stilettos.
Bianca accentuated her striking features with a touch of mascara and styled her chocolate locks in a blunt bob.
While Fantastic Four star Ioan cut a dapper figure in a black suit and patent shoes as he posed arm-in-arm with his partner.
Smitten: Bianca looked effortlessly glamorous as she stepped out at the fundraiser alongside her actor partner Ioan, 48.
Earlier this year, Bianca gave an insight into battling MS, detailing how one particular relapse had left her unable to use her legs for five days, admitting: 'I thought for sure that was it for me'.
Taking to Instagram in January, she shared a throwback wheelchair snap as she prepared for spinal surgery as she told how she was previously too scared to share her health battle.
The throwback image from August 20, 2021, marked three years since Bianca's spinal operation due to her degenerative spine disease - which is prevalent in people with multiple sclerosis.
The captions saw Bianca state that she wanted to reveal what had happened to her and how it all began, but she had 'deleted it all'.
Candid: In January, Bianca revealed she'd been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system
She told how long-term followers would have remembered her talking a little about her health woes but then she 'suddenly stopped and deleted all evidence', with the beauty adding one day she would talk about it, but 'today is not that day!'.
And writing over the snap on Wednesday, Bianca then explained how days before the anniversary, she had a relapse which left her struggling to walk, with the star then changing her mind about sharing her journey.
She wrote: 'I have always been open about my degenerative spine disease and surgery. Back in August in this post on my story I was slowly starting to gear myself up to talk about the MS.
'I had just lost both my legs for 5 days between August 13th and 18th, By day 3 I couldn't walk even using my walking stick anymore. I thought for sure that was it for me. A few days after this relapse it happened to be my 3 year spine surgery anniversary and I felt like I might have finally been ready to talk about it. Something spooked me and I changed my mind.'
Sharing what had made her finally open up, she went on: 'Fast forward from October through to December and the MS had been discovered and was being discussed openly on social media.
'Although this absolutely ruined me, it ended up being the much needed kick up the butt for me to finally have the courage to talk about it. Who knows when I would have decided on my own when the right time would be, if ever?
'I'm so grateful for the push, I finally did it and it feels so freeing.'
It comes after Bianca shared a lengthy video days earlier and revealed she'd been suffering from MS following a diagnosis three years ago, explaining she didn't know if she would ever walk again.
She revealed that she first went to doctors after being unable to pick up a pen to write, and that after that 'everything changed'.
Health woes: Earlier this year, shegave an insight into battling MS, detailing how one particular relapse had left her unable to use her legs for five days
The actress detailed how she now suffers with occasionally going blind in her left eye, has a tremor and that the whole right side of her body has nerve damage.
She went on to say that the diagnosis has actually been her 'lucky charm' and pushed her to get into acting and 'appreciate life for what it is'.
Common symptoms include tiredness, vision problems and problems with walking or balance. Multiple sclerosis cannot be cured, but medicines and other treatments can help ease some of the symptoms.
Bianca added: 'I haven't always had the same outlook on life. I haven't always been about following your heart and living your life to the best of your ability. That's actually come with a diagnosis of aggressive multiple sclerosis.
'In October 2018 I was diagnosed with MS, I was diagnosed with an aggressive from, it was very aggressive in nature, it came on hard and fast. I was at work in accounting and I tried to pick up a pen and I couldn't.
Smitten: Bianca is loved-up with her boyfriend Ioan Gruffudd, who went Instagram official in October, and they enjoyed a romantic getaway to Scotland last month
'There was an initial shock, I can't really describe how I felt, I've never been able to put it into words, this is why I haven't spoken about it in the last three years as I don't quite know what to say.'
She continued: 'It has been the most confronting this to be dealt in life. It's not something a 25 year old would have ever expected. I then put the pen in my other hand to try to write and I just couldn't.
'I was sent to the emergency room and from there everything changed. Within the next few weeks I couldn't walk anymore, the entire right side of my body was completed whacked out. I had to start a journey I wasn't ready for. You're never ready for a diagnosis like this.
'I've always been a bubbly positive person but when you are faced with aggressive MS something changes. It put a question mark over my head but now I think it's the luckiest thing that could have happened to me as I was able to ask the hard, heavy questions in life.
New couple: Bianca has hit headlines for her relationship with Ioan, with the pair coming under fire from Ioan's ex Alice Evans (They are pictured going Instagram official in October)
Will I ever walk again? I had my new. The neurologist answered that with 'I don't know'. At 25 I didn't know if I was going to walk again. I realised I had to make some changes in my life. I realised that starts with me. I was miserable, unhappy, I didn't know if I would walk again.'
She added: 'I was living with regret. I didn't know what was going to happen to me. I still don't. It was hardship that has made me who I am. That's why I always tell people to just follow their heart as I know how how debilitating regret can be.
'I deal with a lot of drama because of the diagnosis. I go blind in my left eye, I have botox to lift it up. My entire right side has nerve damage, this is my tremor look. When I'm stressed I lose my walk. So I had to learn how to control my emotions.
'I know how it feels to lie in bed and regret everything and I don't want to do that again ever. Without MS I would never have become an actress, it's the big question mark that did that. I don't know how it will progress I don't know what's going to happen.'
She signed off by saying: 'That knocked all the fear off me. It taught me to appreciate life for what it is. I hope this has cleared up some questions you may have of me. So now you know!'
Exes: 102 Dalmatians star Alice Evans announced her split from Welsh actor Ioan (pictured in June 2018) in a series of angry tweets in January 2021
Bianca is loved-up with her boyfriend Ioan Gruffudd and they enjoyed a romantic getaway to Scotland last month after going Instagram official in October.
The couple have frequently come under fire from Ioan's ex Alice Evans on social media since revealing their romance.
Actress Alice, 53, announced her split from Welsh actor Ioan in a series of angry tweets in January 2021.
She later applied for legal and physical custody of her children - Ella, 12, and Elsie, eight - following her legal battle with her ex-husband, Ioan.
Ioan had been married to Alice for 14 years before he filed for divorce in March last year, later applying for a restraining order in February 2022.
WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS?
Multiple sclerosis (known as MS) is a condition in which the immune system attacks the body and causes nerve damage to the brain and spinal cord.
It is an incurable, lifelong condition. Symptoms can be mild in some, and in others more extreme causing severe disability.
MS affects 2.3 million people worldwide - including around 400,000 in the US, and 100,000 in the UK.
It is more than twice as common in women as it is in men. A person is usually diagnosed in their 20s and 30s.
The condition is more commonly diagnosed in people of European ancestry.
The cause isn't clear. There may be genes associated with it, but it is not directly hereditary. Smoking and low vitamin D levels are also linked to MS.
Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty walking, vision problems, bladder problems, numbness or tingling, muscle stiffness and spasms, problems with balance and co-ordination, and problems with thinking, learning and planning.
The majority of sufferers will have episodes of symptoms which go away and come back, while some have ones which get gradually worse over time.
Symptoms can be managed with medication and therapy.
The condition shortens the average life expectancy by around five to 10 years.