A 14-month-old girl is making an amazing recovery from a brain tumor after getting a kiss from Pope Francis, her parents say.
Gianna Masciantonio was born with an extremely rare blood disease called Systemic Juvenile Xanthrogranuloma. It caused a tumor in her brain.
Her parents, Kristen and Joey took Gianna for chemo, but they say it was having diminishing results.
“Pope Francis kissing Gianna is our miracle,” Kristen said. “I had a very sick daughter, the doctors were giving us no hope. All I did was pray the first year of her life.”
Then on the spur of the moment, they say, they decided to take their little daughter to See Pope Francis when he was in nearby Philadelphia.
The family was just faces in the crowd as the Pope approached and motioned to hold the baby.
“I fell to my knees. He looked back at Joey and I to see who they were giving the baby to,” Kristen said.
Gianna had two more chemo sessions after that. And the next time her parents took her for an MRI is when they saw a dramatic change in the tumor.
“For first time there was light at the end of this very dark tunnel,” Kristen said. “She's come to life. After hospice care for the first year of her life, now she's laughing and smiling, great personality.”
An emotional Joey said: “I got my first dad kiss. That's one of the most amazing feelings in the world when your daughter gives you your first kiss.”
Mom and dad acknowledge the Pope isn't the only person they got help from and thanked the doctors and nurses who took care of their little girl.
For more information about Gianna and the foundation her parents started, click here.