Dynamo, the Magician With Crohn's Disease

Dynamo Has Performed For Celebrities And The Royal Family

Dynamo performs a card illusion at the "Under 1 Roof" concert in aid of Kids Company at Hammersmith Apollo on December 19, 2013 in London, England. Image © Christie Goodwin / WireImage / Getty Images

At the age of 13, Bradford-born magician Steven Frayne, better known today by his stage name Dynamo, began to lag behind his friends who were experiencing growth spurts. Like many people who are eventually diagnosed with digestive disease, he underwent a significant number of tests as well as stress and uncertainty at an age when most kids are learning how to fit in with their peer group. It took the better part of 2 years for Dynamo to finally get a diagnosis to explain his health problems and lack of growth: Crohn's disease. At the age of just 15, he was diagnosed with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an incurable disease of the digestive tract.

Crohn's, Stomach Surgery, And Constant Pain

When Dynamo was 19 year old, he underwent a significant surgery to repair a life-threatening rupture of an abscess in his abdominal cavity. The operation resulted in half of his stomach being removed, which also meant a long recovery process. Dynamo has talked openly about the fact that his Crohn's disease does cause him to experience abdominal pain. He describes the pain as throbbing and "constant," but that he has grown accustomed to it over the course of time.

Today he reports that he is able to keep his Crohn's disease under control, with a significant amount of effort. One of the ways he manages his disease is through his diet. He changed his diet significantly in order to avoid all of the foods that he has determined to be problematic to his disease.

Career As A Magician

With the help of his great-grandfather, Dynamo began experimenting with magic as a way to cope with the realities of living with Crohn's disease. Not only did practicing magic provide him with a hobby that would distract him from his health problems, he also says it helped him escape being bullied at school due to his health struggles.

Dynamo is now an accomplished and respected street magician. Street magic is a type of performance that's usually done in urban areas with passersby, rather than in a traditional theater with a paying audience. However, Dynamo also performs in stage shows and for celebrities and even royalty. He has performed illusions such as levitating celebrities, walking through glass, and most memorably, walking halfway across the Thames in June of 2011. He was awarded an Associate Membership of the secret inner sanctum of the Magic Circle in 2012, which is a very high honor for a magician.

His first book, Nothing Is Impossible: My Story, was published in October 2012, and has received many favorable reviews. It's hailed as being inspirational by people who live with chronic health problems and who are striving to overcome long odds to succeed.

Dynamo's TV series, entitled Dynamo: Magician Impossible, aired in the United Kingdom on the satellite channel Watch. The show averaged 1.7 million viewers an episode, and in 2013 won a Broadcasting Press Guild award for Best Multichannel Programme, Virgin Media's TV Show of the Year, and Best Entertainment Program at the Broadcast Awards.

Giving Back

Not one to sit idly by while children are living with diseases like IBD and other digestive conditions, Dynamo is active in charity work for IBD charities in the United Kingdom. He is a Celebrity Ambassador with Rays of Sunshine, a charity in the United Kingdom that grants the wishes of children who are seriously ill. Dynamo has also made personal visits to several children with chronic or incurable disease. Dynamo is also active in social media, interacting with his fans and with people with IBD.

You can follow Dynamo on his official website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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