An emotional night on 'DWTS'
April 1st, 2014
02:33 PM ET

An emotional night on 'DWTS'

Between Amy Purdy's powerful story of tenacity and Billy Dee Williams deciding to hang up his dancing shoes, Monday's "Dancing With the Stars" should've been sponsored by Kleenex.

The tear-jerking episode was focusing on the contestants' most memorable moments, and Paralympic snowboarder Purdy shared how she pushed past the loss of both of her legs with the support of her dad.

In 1999, a 19-year-old Purdy was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and "ended up losing both my legs and my kidney function because of it," Purdy said.

Her dad gave her one of his kidneys, and she likes to say that he "gave me life twice," Purdy told the "DWTS" audience Monday. "He brought me into this world, and then through his gift, he kept me in this world."

Her dad was also there to dance with her when she'd received a pair of prosthetic limbs, and so on Monday, she dedicated the night's dance to him.

"The choreography of this dance tells the story of my journey, of what I went through," Purdy said. "Falling, and my dad being there to catch me. I can not put into words how grateful I am; that is why we are doing this dance. This dance is a tribute to the gift of life that he's given me. How do you say thank you for that?"

As guest judge Robin Roberts suggested, there couldn't have been a dry eye in the country while watching Purdy perform her contemporary routine.

But with that incredible inspiration also came a downbeat on Monday's episode, as Billy Dee Williams announced that he was voluntarily leaving the show due to concern over his back issues.

"I'm really kind of unhappy about it," he told CNN after the show. "I really wish that I could have continued. But this back is really bothering me, so it's best that I give it a rest."

Filed under: Dancing With The Stars • television

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