Miracles really do happen.
In 2015, the prognosis for Gianna Masciantonio, just 1 month old, was not good. She suffered from histiocytosis, a blood disorder that caused inoperable tumors on her brain stem. Doctors said she likely would not make it to her first birthday, and had just days or weeks to live.
But then she met Pope Francis, who kissed her on the head.
Gianna’s parents asked a friend in the FBI if they could somehow get a few seconds with the Pope when he visited their home town of Philadelphia. Miraculously, they did.
Then something amazing happened: Gianna started getting better. She underwent chemotherapy and now, at age 3, she is cancer free.
“From what I thought at age 4 months when I operated on her, if you would have told me she’d be running around getting ready to start preschool, I would have told you you’d be crazy. It just wouldn’t happen,” Dr. Phillip Storm, the hospital’s chief of pediatric neurosurgery, told CBS Philadelphia, Yahoo! reported.
The family this weekend returned to the hospital to visit Gianna’s doctors.
To commemorate Gianna’s recovery, her parents, Joey and Kristen Masciantonio, donated $50,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Gianna was treated. They made the donation in the name of the foundation they started, For the Love of Grace. Grace is Gianna’s middle name, and the foundation is dedicated to helping children with brain tumors and histiocytosis.
“She’s doing great. She’s going to attend preschool this fall. She’s so excited,” said her mother, Kristen Masciantonio, the local CBS affiliate reported.
“Seeing your kid run around and seeing her doing the things she’s doing with what they told us from the beginning is amazing,” said Gianna’s father, Joey Masciantonio.