Years after cancer battle, valley woman thanks her inspiration

Doctors said it was a miracle.

11 years ago, a 14-year-old Tempe woman was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and after a fight that was not easy at times, she was able to beat the disease. Now, Khristina Ireton is still cancer free, and she is thanking a very special person who helped her through her battle.

Ireton said her teenage experience was not typical. Severe and sudden stomach pains turned out to be a three-pound tumor that was diagnosed by doctors as terminal.

"I was just getting into my freshman year of high school," said Ireton.

She underwent surgery and months of chemotherapy. Ireton remembers that period as a tough and lonely time, but there was one bright spot: the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"So, the wish I picked was to meet Ashanti," said Ireton, "I could have picked anything, shopping spree, football game, but I really wanted someone that had made an impression in my life, because I thought it was my last moments."

Ireton beat the odds, and now, over a decade after that cancer battle, she went on "The Real" to say thank you to Ashanti.

Ireton said she still teasures the Tiffany bracelet Ashanti gave her, during their first visit.

"It says, 'Khristina, love and peace, Ashanti,'"said Ireton.

That is a reminder of how love and kindness can make miracles.

"No matter how small, the hope is there's always a chance," said Ireton.

While Ireton has been in remission for 11 years, she is still struggling with Lymphedema, which makes it hard for her to stand for long periods of time, and work out. Ireton said, however, she would not be where she is today, if not for her cancer diagnosis.