New Miss Arkansas surprises little princess battling cancer

Asher Ray, 8, has been battling Ewings Sarcoma since 2012. (KATV photo)

Asher Ray, 8, has been battling Ewings Sarcoma since 2012.

Through it all, she's been walking every year on the Miss Arkansas stage as a Diamond State Princess.

This year, Asher was paired up with Miss Greater Jonesboro Maggie Benton, who was crowned Miss Arkansas on Saturday night.

"I'm really glad she's our new Miss Arkansas," Asher said.

Asher's mom Susan says while she is doing better and is healthy, a recent scan showed some growth on her lungs.

She will start a new experimental treatment in a few weeks.

"We're going to continue to look for trials to keep that at bay," Ray said.

Benton told Channel 7 that Asher's pep talk helped her when she was about to go onstage.

"She says just remember no matter what happens, you're either going to win and we're going to hang out or you're going to lose and you're going to be my babysitter. So it's going to work out either way. And that was really funny," Benton said.

Asher says her dream is to sit in the audience and watch Benton compete in Miss America.

"I would love nothing more than to hear 'Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Maggie!" Benton said.

"She heard me from stage this year," Asher said.

"I absolutely told her after I could hear her from the crowd. That would mean a lot to me for sure," Benton said.

Benton says while she is preparing for Miss America, she knows her princess Asher is preparing for another treatment.

"She's got a lot more hard work than I do, that's for sure. But we'll get through it together," Benton said.

Click here for Asher's Go Fund Me.

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