Iyanla's heartbreak deepened when her daughter, Gemmia, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer on September 11, 2002.
Doctors weren't sure how long Gemmia would live, but Iyanla says she knew her daughter would fight the illness head-on and "affirm life." When Iyanla turned to Gemmia's doctor for guidance and asked if her child would live, the answer gave her hope. "[The doctor said,] 'With God, all things are possible,'" Iyanla says.
Sadly, Gemmia, whose name means "precious jewel," lost her battle on Christmas morning in 2003. Iyanla remembers her daughter's final days with sadness. "She had a disease in her body," Iyanla says. "She had a diseased mind."
Gemmia may be gone, but Iyanla says she's always with her. "She's here," Iyanla says, gesturing to her heart.