Reality TV star Sam Faiers has said that being diagnosed with Crohn's disease has made her appreciate the people that really matter to her.
The 23-year-old, who quit The Only Way Is Essex earlier this year, underwent weeks of tests before discovering she had the condition, which affects the digestive system and made her weight plummet.
Sam - who has reignited her romance with former co-star Joey Essex - said: "Those hard times with my health have taught me who my nearest and dearest are.
"Through everything, that's all you need."
She also told the Sunday People magazine that her relationship with Essex is all the better now they do not appear on the ITV show.
"The pressure is off now," she said.
"The show not being there makes our relationship a lot easier. You don't turn up to TOWIE and keep things private. You have to give it your all."