A Mililani pageant queen battling ovarian cancer isn't letting her disease douse her dreams. 

32 year old Shantell Kaauwai was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer when she was 29. Her initial reaction: she says was heartache for her mother who had to break the devastating news.

"No parent wants to tell their child they have cancer," Kaauwai said. 

Kaauwai has gone through treatment for years, hoping something will take and eventually obliterate the disease. Staying as positive as she can but she says when the lows hit- it comes crashing down.

"I've got to look for a long time so I have the longhair the whole nine. My hair was my security blanket so to see it gone was hard," Kaauwai said. 

Kaauwai says these days she's taking life in stride, clinging to her Mom for comfort. Calling her, her rock.

"I told her I would switch places with her in a heartbeat. She said no mom, this is my journey, this is my fight which really touches me," Shelleen Sapla, Kaauwai's mother, said. 

The next chapter in Kaauwai’s journey is one she calls a step out of her comfort zone.

She'll be one of eight contestants in the Ms. Hawaii Plus pageant this weekend. Kaauwai wants to use it as a platform to inspire others.

"Just because I can't have children doesn't mean I can't inspire other kids or even adults or women or men or children anybody in general to go out and go and shoot for their dreams basically," Kaauwai said. 

Living life to the fullest, refusing to settle for anything less.