Shaylee Young is a 15-year-old from Winterset, Iowa who has overcome tremendous odds to fulfill her dream of marching in a corps. Young is a rookie in the baritone line for the Blue Stars and is a cancer survivor. Here is a story of incredible determination and will.

"I had stomach pains since December. The doctors had no clue as to what it was. Through ultrasound tests, it was discovered that I had a nine-centimeter ovarian cyst, about the size of a small orange. Cancer runs in my family. I've lost at least five family members on both sides," she said.

"I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 10 and was told I wouldn't live to be 15," Young added. "Besides that, I wasn't told much. My health had been going down, so I figured I would do stuff while I could. That's why I'm marching this summer. It's the summer after I turned 15. I figured 'whatever happens, happens,' so I wouldn't let it get me down."

The cyst was removed on March 4th and a biopsy was taken. Fortunately, that one was benign. "I have ovarian cyst disease, so there are others that might have to be dealt with. One ruptured and took me out of the corps' home show in LaCrosse because my side hurt so bad. The doctors said I had fluid in my body that would have to be reabsorbed, and until it was reabsorbed, it would be painful. But I was back practicing the next day."

Young feels that tour has been interesting while dealing with her illness. "When I had my surgery, I was told I couldn't pick up anything over ten pounds for six weeks. The Blue Stars camp was seven weeks after my surgery. My horn weighs eight pounds, and it gets heavy when you have to hold it up and out for so long!"

Although she is pushing through, she knows how to watch her body and not push it to hard. "I'll sit out for awhile when my stomach hurts, and when I run back in to the rehearsal, the corps members encourage me to keep going." According to Young, after tour her doctors may have her start chemotherapy.

"I'm looking forward to having another year where I can accomplish anything and overcome any obstacle. To others with challenges, I encourage you to not let things get you down. No matter what, you can overcome it."