Dancer overcomes colon disease to do what she loves

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Dancer overcomes colon disease to do what she loves

Junior Marlee Fields dances for Moveo Dance Company.

Junior Marlee Fields dances for Moveo Dance Company.

Julia Alvarado

Junior Marlee Fields dances for Moveo Dance Company.

Julia Alvarado

Julia Alvarado

Junior Marlee Fields dances for Moveo Dance Company.

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Whether a sport, club, or art, giving up a passion is something unimaginable for most, but one Perry dancer inspires countless others by deciding to fight for what she loves. Beginning her high school career in only advanced dance, junior Marlee Fields has worked her way to the top now performing on the competition squad for Varsity Pom as well as the Moveo Dance Company. “It’s the only thing that makes me happy,” Fields declares.

It has not always been so easy for Fields as she was diagnosed with a chronic illness called Ulcerative Colitis at the end of her freshman year. While it has no known cure, this affects the colon and causes severe stomach pains. She went through numerous treatments, receiving infusions once a month; unfortunately, medicine has not been able to lighten her condition. Marlee describes it, “[People] don’t understand the extent and how much pain I actually go through.”

Having not entered remission for nearly two years now, the Fields family has started to consider other options. Putting dancing on hold for a full year, a two-step surgery process to remove her colon has been on the table. Marlee laughs, “You kind of need that.” Her sights set on postponing the surgery until after high school, she is willing to take on any obstacles that come her way while keeping up with her packed schedule and the rigorous discipline required by both pom and Moveo.

Sisters Macaley and Maia continue to motivate Marlee through their tight-knit family relationship. “My sisters always find a way to make me happy and be there for me. I can always count on them to talk to about anything,” Marlee says when describing her connection with her siblings. Macaley, a former Moveo dancer herself, stays with Marlee through her hard times on and off the dance floor, “She has always been my inspiration for dance and she still is. I think of her and how I want to live up to how she danced.”

With her recent victories in pom’s competitions, Fields has higher hopes than ever. The team qualified for the top 10 in Arizona division-1 beating out one other school for their final ninth place in the state competition, being the highest Perry’s pom team has reached. The team soon leaves to compete in the California championship with the addition of traditional state in March. Marlee uses this as a boost for herself announcing, “It keeps me disciplined and gives me something to look forward to.”

While she may have the love and support from family and friends, Marlee is her own biggest motivator saying, “When I can’t think of anything positive, I go to dance.” There may be hurdles emotionally and physically in her future, but Fields stays determined to be the best dancer she can be. Her inspiring words can be used for anyone, but they can especially be applied to herself when she declares, “Anyone can dance, but you have to really feel it to become something more from it.”

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