A toddler’s brain tumor has shrunk after receiving a kiss from Pope Francis, the child’s family has recently revealed. One-year old Gianna Masciantonio had been suffering from rare, inoperable brain cancer, which had appeared just weeks after she had been born in September 2014.
A malignant glioma tumor had formed in her brain stem, and the little girl had undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, but doctors had declared that the disease was too severe, and couldn’t be vanquished.
Given that the tumor couldn’t be surgically removed, her parents, Joe and Kristen, had been told that Gianna only had a few weeks or months left to live.
When they were beginning to lose hope, a friend of theirs, FBI agent Donny Asper, sought to bring them some comfort by mentioning that the pope had been scheduled to come to Philadelphia on September 26, after having visited Washington D.C. and New York City’s Ground Zero.
Kristen Masciantonio kept insisting on taking Gianna along in order to meet the pontiff. In response, her husband Joe tried to discourage her, by mentioning the toddler’s immune system had been severely compromised, and such a journey from their home in Warrington to Philadelphia could’ve proven fatal.
However, the family’s physician allowed the family to go, since this could’ve been Gianna’s only chance at recovery.
After holding a speech at Independence Hall, the pontiff continued his visit by passing by James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse on Market Street, where the family had been waiting.
Gianna was taken the the popemobile, after the vehicle was directed near her by the Philadelphia Police Department, and that’s how she received a kiss on the forehead from Pope Francis, right above the location of her tumor.
During her stay in Philadelphia, the little girl also met with the daughter of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, the person she had been named after.
Molla had died in 1962 and had been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 2004, after having sacrificed her life in order to give birth to her fourth child, despite knowing the medical risks involved with continuing her pregnancy.
Last week, Joe and Kristen Masciantonio , who had been on the brink of despair until then, have been told by doctors that their tot’s tumor has receded by a significant extent.
Upon analyzing Gianna’s brain MRIs, taken in August and November, it actually became obvious that the cancerous growth had almost disappeared, just tiny traces of it still remaining now, rendering radiologists unable to determine its edges.
After having received such uplifting news, the family is certain that her unexpected healing happened following the blessing given by the pontiff, and one witness is calling the whole event “the Miracle on Market Street”.
As Joe Masciantonio has said, this is just further proof that the pope is indeed God’s messenger, thus carrying divine power for healing.
Indeed, the toddler has never felt better: as her mother has happily recounted, Gianna appears much stronger, alert and vivacious now, and physicians are much more optimistic that she’s on her way to a full recovery.
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