Three years after kiss from Pope, toddler with brain tumour ‘beats the odds’

A toddler diagnosed with a brain tumour is said to be healthy again nearly three years after being kissed by Pope Francis. 

Giana Grace Masciantonio, three, was diagnosed with histiocystosis, a rare blood disorder that caused lesions on her brain cell and made it impossible for surgery to be done on it. 

After undergoing chemotherapy over a period of time, Gianna beat the odds and is now in good health, ready to begin preschool, according to CBS Philadelphia. 

The Pope had no prior knowledge that the little girl was suffering from a brain tumour at the time of his visit to Philadelphia.

“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.

Commenting on her recovery, Phillip Storm, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said it was nothing short of a miracle. 

“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,” he said. 

To celebrate Gianna’s recovery, Joey and Kristen Masciantonio started a foundation called For the Love of Grace.

A donation of $50,000 was made through the foundation to the Philadelphian Hospital were she was treated. 

Gianna is said to be stable and making progress with the help of her therapists.