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"American Idol's" Avalon Young Reveals the First Sign She Had Brain Cancer

The 26-year-old singer is sharing her experience on social media.

Fans of American Idol will remember Avalon Young from the show's 15th season. While appearing on the competition series in 2016, Young shared her voice with viewers across the country and ended up making it to the top eight. But now, her story has taken a heartbreaking turn. Young is undergoing treatment for brain cancer and has been sharing updates along the way.

Young first posted about finding out she had a brain tumor in February and shared one of the first signs that made her realize that something was wrong. Since then, she's shared her brain cancer diagnosis, and her family has been fundraising money to pay for her surgeries and treatment on GoFundMe.

Read on to learn about Young's journey and to find out more about the singer. And to read about another star's healthy journey, check out Tony Bennett's Wife Reveals the First Sign He Had Alzheimer's.

In February, Young shared the process of discovering that she had a brain tumor with her fans.

In an Instagram post on Feb. 23, Young shared how she found out she had a peach-sized tumor. The 26-year-old explained that in November 2020 she began having "simple partial seizures." She said she was told it could be an issue with anxiety or her serotonin levels. She underwent tests to check her brain, which came back normal, but after an MRI, doctors found a "mass legion tumor on my left frontal lobe."

Young needed to be treated quickly. "I have been blessed in so many ways and will be receiving a 12 hour surgery this coming Friday," she wrote. "This will not change anything about me or music in any way. Just need a few weeks to recover."

For more on signs to be aware of, check out 60 Percent of Women Don't Know These Key Cancer Symptoms, Study Says.

Then, in April, she shared a new diagnosis.

Following her surgery, Young continued to post on Instagram, including videos of her singing and a post about her decision to completely shave her head. But, in April, she shared that she was diagnosed with cancer.

"Got some of the worst news ever after thinking I was fully recovering after this tumor surgery," Young wrote. "I've got cancer in my brain and I gotta boss up and take care of it."

She added that she would need to undergo surgery again, as well as chemotherapy and radiation. Young wrote that it was "unreal to receive this news at the age of 26," but added, "Everything is gonna be okay, the journey is gonna be wild, but I'm ready for it."

In an interview with TMZ, she explained that more of the tumor needs to be removed. "They've already gotten out 90%, so there's only 10% left in my brain." She added that the situation is "looking really good. It's going to be way easier than last time."

Young is keeping positive about her diagnosis. For others like her who've fought cancer, check out Celebrities Who Battled Cancer and Won.

Her family is raising money for her treatment.

Avalon Young performing on "American Idol" in March 2016
Ray Mickshaw/FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

A GoFundMe for Young was set up following her cancer diagnosis.

"Avalon has minimal insurance, is an independent artist, and self-supporting singer/ songwriter. We hope to help her with some of the financial burden as a result of these medical expenses," reads the description on her donation page. "No amount is too little. We are so grateful for anyone willing to share this post or donate. We appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts as we prepare to battle this disease."

In the interview with TMZ, Young said of the fundraiser, "The GoFundMe is definitely something super important to me right now, because I also can't really work around this time … It's really all that we have holding us up for paying all the medical bills."

An update on the page notes that Young's second surgery is scheduled for May 27.

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Young has music coming out very soon.

Avalon Young with other "American Idol" finalists in February 2016
Kathy Hutchins /

Even though she's going through a difficult and unexpected time, Young is still focusing on her music. She recently announced that her new single "She Don't" is being released on Apr. 30.

"I love everyone on my team and the way they've worked so hard and shown so much love throughout this process," she wrote on Instagram. She added, "GET SIKED. [sic] I REALLY FINISHED AN EP."

Read about more stars who found fame on reality TV with The 30 Most Successful Reality TV Personalities of the Last 30 Years.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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