SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga Prep grad Ella McKeirnan started her first day of college at the University of Washington after taking a year off to fight cancer.

Ella notably gave a stirring valedictorian address at her high school graduation just three months after being diagnosed with rare Ewing's Sarcoma. Doctors said it would be difficult for her to give the speech after weeks of chemotherapy, but she powered through with an amazing speech.

Ella has spent the last 18 months undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments to shrink numerous tumors, primarily in her lungs. Her doctor said most of her tumors have shrunk or vanished after treatment. Ella will keep undergoing scans to make sure the tumors keep shrinking and don't come back.

Ella was the first place winner of the Spokane Scholars Math Award/Scholarship in 2017. She plans on studying bioengineering at UW.