SAN DIEGO – It’s been five years since Avalon Young burst into the country’s living rooms on “American Idol,” making it into the top eight of the show’s farewell season on FOX.
Now the 26-year-old Tierrasanta native is facing a different kind of pressure: a tumor on her brain.
Young told FOX 5 she realized something wasn’t right with her health this past summer when she had a twitch in her shoulder, but was told it was anxiety. By Thanksgiving, her symptoms worsened.
“I just felt a little bit disconnected mentally and then I started having what they’re calling a simple partial seizure once every three hours for a few days, which was very alarming, of course,” Young said. “I’m not an epileptic; I’ve never had a seizure in my life, so I didn’t even actually know what was going on, at first.”
Despite being told by doctors that her anxiety was triggering the attacks, Young and her mother agreed that that wasn’t what she was experiencing.
“I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety and OCD all my life and I had never, ever, ever had an attack like that,” she said.
Following an MRI, Young said she learned that she has a lesion mass tumor on her left frontal lobe that was “as big as a peach.” The tumor is scheduled to be removed Friday in a 12-hour surgery at UC San Diego Medical Center in La Jolla by a team of a dozen doctors.
She is expecting to spend one night in the ICU and then doctors will “just want to see where it goes from there.”
“If I’m being 100% honest, I don’t think I’ve even really had time to process it yet, but I’m OK with that,” Young said. “Because tomorrow I get the surgery and it can all just be done whereas if we didn’t go to the ER on the day that we did — just a biopsy would be six weeks out.
“I was lucky enough to go into the ER and for them to actually see a picture of my brain and realize that it needed to be taken out immediately.”
Asked about the health scare’s impact on her music, Young says “it will make it better — 100%.”
“How could something like this not make your life better?” she said. “You come out of it; it happened; it’s not the greatest experience. But when you come out of it, I mean, I’m lucky I get to go through this; I get to survive; I get to live and that’s really, really awesome for me.”
A GoFundMe campaign is raising money to help Young pay for medical expenses.