Miss Arizona Contestant Kristina Anderson Battles Rare Ovarian Cancer

on October 16 2013 6:22 PM

Miss Arizona contestant Kristina Anderson isn’t letting anything hold her back -- not even cancer. The 25-year-old, who will compete in the Miss Arizona pageant next month, set goals when she started undergoing chemotherapy, People.com wrote, and competing in the beauty pageant is one of them.  

The Illinois native, who now lives in Arizona, was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer in July. "I thought it would be a really good distraction,” she told Today.com about the competition.

Anderson went shopping recently to pick out the evening gown, interview dress and even the earrings she will wear for the pageant in late November, People.com wrote. But one major difference that will set her apart from the rest is her hair. She lost her locks during chemotherapy and doesn’t plan on wearing a wig. "I have to get used to my new look," she said about the scarves she now dons.

The 25-year-old is three weeks into her chemo, which doesn’t give her much time to physically prepare for the Nov. 29 competition, but mentally she’s already there. She told People.com: "Rather than focusing on white blood cell numbers, the reality of the disease and the outcomes, staying positive is half the battle," she said. "I see a lot of people who get down and depressed and crawl in a hole, and my idea is to be positive as possible."

Miss Arizona executive director Britt Boyse considers Anderson “a pretty amazing young lady.” She told the news site: "I met Kristina when we had one of our meetings for prospective contestants, and when she told me she was signing up and had a rare form of ovarian cancer, I said, 'Are you sure you want to do this on top of everything you're going through?' She said, 'I want something positive to look forward to.'"