Never Give Up
- The Voice contestant Andrew Marshall advanced to the next round of the competition show after yet another epic steal on last night’s show, this time by his former coach Nick Jonas.
- The 21-year-old battled leukemia from ages 16 to 19, missing out on average teenage activities, and now he’s battling his way through one of the top shows on television. Marshall’s inspiring story shows that there can always be light at the end of the tunnel.
- To treat his leukemia, Marshall underwent three phases of chemotherapy: induction, consolidation and maintenance. The treatment lasted three years.
Marshall is a fighter. The 21-year-old battled leukemia from ages 16 to 19, missing out on average teenage activities, and now he’s battling his way through one of the top shows on television, which is certainly no average activity. It was all in the cards for the budding star who focused on his music to get him through his hard times. Now he’s moving on to the live shows. Marshall’s inspiring story just shows that there can sometimes be light at the end of the tunnel.Read More
“I just love music so much, it’s what I love, it’s what I want to do forever,” Marshall told SurvivorNet. “I just try to be myself and do what I can. Doing music as a career can be scary and getting all that validation from all the coaches is just crazy. I’m just a normal guy trying to be the best person I can be. I’m just so grateful.”
In response to Monday’s advancement, Marshall said the show has been life-changing.
“I’M COMING HOME @nickjonas and GOING TO LIVES?!?!? I cannot be more thankful,” Marshall wrote of his exhilarating redemption with the pop star. “This sounds so cheesy but this experience has been life changing. Each round I have felt myself grow in ways both vocally and as a person that I could have never expected.”
Last week, Jonas picked Raine Stern over the Massachusetts native Marshall, even though the coaches all agreed that Marshall had won the battle. Blake Shelton went in for the steal, and pulled Marshall onto his team.
Marshall gave credit to his temporary coach. “I feel so blessed and thankful to have been able to work with THE cowboy @blakeshelton , but I know I’m back where I BELONG, on TEAM NICK.”
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Marshall has been dishing out playful posts on social media. After last week’s steal by Shelton, he said he’s going to have to go out and get himself a cowboy hat. In another post, he said that Joe was actually his favorite Jonas brother. (Good one, Andrew, it looks like it worked.)
When we last spoke with the talented hopeful, we asked if he thought that Jonas experienced any guilt after casting him away in the battle rounds. Marshall explained that contestants don’t get to have exchanges with the coaches after the shows, and said he imagines it would be “uncomfortable for them to have those conversations.”
Sure enough, Jonas revealed that he sincerely did struggle with his decision.
“Andrew, I miss you a lot,” Jonas said in last night’s episode after another stellar performance by Marshall, who sang the appropriately-titled I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz.
“I’ve wrestled with it since we last saw each other,” Jonas continues. “I’m just trying to reason myself and feel like I made the right choice but when you come out and give a performance that solid, I don’t know. If I had to pick, which I know he’s gonna say I have to …”
Shelton quips that he is contractually obligated, and Jonas finally decides. “Andrew, I think you’ve won this Knockout.”
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Getting Diagnosed with Leukemia
Marshall experienced some jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin, as his first symptom for leukemia, but at the time doctors weren’t sure what he had.
“I spent the next couple of days just getting tested for everything: mono, hepatitis, TB (Tuberculosis), every disease under the sun I was tested for … I had a leukemia test earlier on, and that was negative, and so we were feeling good, like we just thought it was something viral or whatever, and all the doctors pretty much on my team are leaning towards that,” he told SurvivorNet. “They were like, ‘You know what? Let’s just rest up for the week in the hospital, get you some fluid and stuff, and we’ll send you on your way. I’m sure your liver count will go back to normal.’”
One of Marshall’s doctors, Dr. Alison Friedmann, said she wanted to do one more test for leukemia. When she walked in after the results came back, “instead of saying, ‘You’re good,’ she was like, ‘Let me grab a chair.’ And that was all I needed to know,” he recalls. “I remember just sitting in the bed, my sister’s hugging me, and just being kind of frozen.”
It was acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood cancer that starts in the white blood cells in your bone marrow. It understandably took some time for Marshall to adjust to his life-changing news.
“Knowing that you had three-and-a-half years of treatment ahead of you, and you’re just a 16-year-old kid, you just want to get your license, you just want to go back to school. You quickly need to reevaluate everything that you didn’t appreciate before. I remember going back to school for the first time, and I was just so grateful to be in school, which is something that I never thought I would say.”
According to the American Cancer Society, the main treatment for children with ALL is chemotherapy, which is usually given in three main phases:
- Consolidation (also called intensification)
“The first phase is really short, like a month, which is lovely,” Marshall explained. “In consolidation, that’s where you do a lot of the more intense chemotherapy treatments, where you get a little weak and stuff like that. You lose your hair. The whole nine yards.”
What are Blood Cancers? A Leading Expert Explains Leukemia
After that, Marshall did maintenance treatment, which is once-a-month infusions, and pills in the morning and night. “And once a month, I’d go on a steroid type of treatment too, and methotrexate stuff. And that lasted for two and a half years. I have lumbar punctures, all that. All the good stuff.” A lumbar puncture (or spinal tap) can be used to analyze fluid in the spinal cord to check to see if the cancer has spread to the central nervous system.
Luckily, Marshall is feeling great and has been healing physically and emotionally ever since. And slaying it on The Voice certainly seems to help his spirits. He admitted that he struggled the most with the steroid treatment during his battle. And picking up the pieces after a cancer battle can be hard for anyone, despite how well they look on the outside. It’s an intense ride, but it was certainly nothing that Marshall could not handle. And it prepped him for this next phase of his life, which is certainly A LOT brighter.