"The Voice" starts its battle rounds tonight, but Ronkonkoma's MarissaAnn, who will compete on Christina Aguilera's team, isn't worried. After all, the 15-year-old has been fighting all of her young life.
"I just plan to focus on me and take care that my music comes through," said the Connetquot High School 10th-grader, who is the youngest contestant left in the singing competition. "There are some singers who have so much more experience than me in the industry, but I've been through so much, too."
MarissaAnn said she was diagnosed with a rare liver disease when she was 5 months old and needed a liver transplant from her father in order to survive.
"It's really a miracle that I'm here," she said, adding that she still has to take medication to boost her immune system and has to avoid certain sports because of her condition. "It made me such a motivated person, and it made me want to inspire people with my music . . . I want to heal my audience in a way."
She will get her chance on "The Voice," as the judges cut the 64 remaining contestants down to 32 in the battle rounds starting this week.
MarissaAnn -- whose biggest moment in the spotlight before "The Voice" was singing the national anthem at a Long Island Ducks game -- said the coaching she received from Aguilera, whom she counts as a major influence on her music, was one of the main reasons she tried out for the show.
MarissaAnn said she has become friends with Baldwin's Melanie Martinez, who is on Adam Levine's team, and also will compete in the battle rounds. And regardless of the outcome, she said she plans to keep making music. "I want to inspire people," she said.