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Published 2018-09-13
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Science or miracle? A baby with terminal cancer "heals" after receiving a kiss from Pope Francis

About 3 years ago, when Pope Francis was traveling through Market Street in Philadelphia, his officers brought him a 1-year-old baby to kiss on the head. However, the most interesting thing in history was that the Supreme Pontiff did not know at that time that the girl, Gianna Masciantonio, had a debilitating brain tumor that would eventually disappear after that kiss. Her case ended up becoming viral in social networks, where Internet users have tried to make sense of what happened. This is all we know so far …

Science or miracle? A baby with terminal cancer "heals" after receiving a kiss from Pope Francis 1

Now, Gianna Masciantonio, 3, is back on her old playground, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where she spent her worst days. But, the truth is that it was not easy. Everything that the family of this little girl had to live is an example of how much we should be grateful that we are parents of children who are in good health because of that fact. Sometimes we ignore this kind of simple things, and take it for granted!

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She had previously been diagnosed with histiocytosis, a blood disorder that progressively formed into a brain tumor. If in adults this type of diagnosis is terrible and, for the most part, not very encouraging, we can already imagine when the parents of the little girl received the terrible news. The possible scenarios were mostly devastating.

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However, the tumor seems to have disappeared, and chemotherapy is now only a distant memory for Gianna. And this is the news that brings happiness not only to the parents of the girl but also to the entire planet because her case was known in many corners of the planet. How was it possible for something to happen if the expectations were the darkest? That is precisely the central theme of this article. Many still refuse to believe these claims.

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"She's very well, she's going to attend preschool this fall, she's very excited, seeing our daughter running and doing the things she does, considering what they told us at the beginning, is amazing," said her mother, Kristen Masciantonio. These are the words of a parent who knows what it is like to get her daughter back when all the doctors already thought she was lost. No doubt they move anyone.

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The family attributes the recognition of the recovery of their little girl to the faith and to the doctors who helped her, so they returned to the hospital to donate 50 thousand dollars in the name of Gianna's foundation, "For the Love of Grace". They always kept the faith that the life of the little one would be saved. And, as a parent, if they give you a story like this, the last thing you will lose is hope.

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Gianna was only one year old in 2015 when a member of the Swiss Guard took her from the crowd after the Pontiff stopped the caravan during a parade in Philadelphia. What would come after the actions of the guard surprised everyone, but not because we are not used to seeing this type of gestures on the part of the Supreme Pontiff, but because of the result.

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Without knowing it, the Pope gave her a kiss just inches from the brain tumor she had been fighting with since birth. This coincidence quickly circulated through social networks. As expected, there were two predominant opinions. On the one hand, there were those who only took the fact as the work of chance, but, on the other, the most devout began to speak of a miraculous coincidence.

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"At that time, there was no hope for us at all, we were praying for a miracle because that was the only thing we could hope for, the miracle was the Pope's kiss, God showed us that he has been with us ..." said the mother. Despite the opinion against a certain sector, relatives and acquaintances of the little girl were sure that it was a divine work.

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When she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014, doctors did not expect her to surpass her first birthday alive. A baby so small and frail in the face of a threat like a brain tumor made the picture, not at all encouraging. However, Gianna's parents were always united and never lost hope that something would happen and that their daughter could survive and lead a normal life in a few years.

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The girl spent the first eight months of her life in palliative care, with her family, expecting the worst and making plans for her funeral. This type of instance when a patient has little or no hope of life is, more than a struggle to save the person, a good way to make them spend their last days of life. It was said, the kid would not be able to save herself. She had to get used to the idea and begin the preparations for her sad and imminent departure.

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But since what ended up being called "Miracle of Market Street" took place, the young Gianna has defied all odds. And there are those who, despite the fragility of their bodies, are much stronger in spirit and cling to life with such determination that they surprise even the most prepared doctors. That was precisely the case of Gianna, who now lives and is brimming with health. Contrary to all the predictions of human science.

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In January 2016, it was reported that she was progressing and receiving chemotherapy once a month; and in November of 2017, the tumor shrunk so much that she did not need chemo during all this time. Unexplained facts, but certain. It is worth mentioning that undergoing radiation and the terrible effects of chemotherapy wear out any patient suffering from terminal cancer. Therefore, the fact that the little girl has been spared this punishment is a source of joy for her parents.

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Now, at 3, her family says the tumor has disappeared, praising the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where she received treatment, and also her faith. But, it is undoubtedly the second reason for which the parents make a greater allusion and on which they focus their emphasis. According to them, both doctors and themselves could have done little without the faith and the hope that was always present in this tireless struggle for the survival of little Gianna.

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Her doctor, Amish Shah, said that she had "completely destroyed the expectations." So I thought at the age of four months when I operated, if you had told me that she would be living now, I would have not believed it. ... "However, we all know the outcome of these doubts and negative forecasts. The girl is well alive.

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Gianna turned out to have histiocytosis months after receiving the "miraculous" kiss of Pope Francis. But, of course, once the events that are known as miraculous happened, everything began to change in a positive way for their parents. This is where the question arises whether it is a true miracle or if we are simply facing a wonderful coincidence and a case of recovery as there are almost no.

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"It ended up being a very rare form of histiocytosis, a blood disease in which Gianna's cells attacked her most vital organ, the brain stem," said Masciantonio. It is precisely this motive that makes them believe that the results are undoubtedly the cause of an unexpected miracle. However, they never fail to thank the doctors at the hospital who always did what they could to save their daughter's life.

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The family has donated 50 thousand dollars to the hospital that helped her. In a way of homage and also to help the hospital continue in the fight against many other cases that arise more and more nowadays. It has already been said that this terrible disease is the suffering of the most recent decades and every year millions of people are killed by it.

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"This place is really special to us in our hearts," said Gianna's father, Joey Masciantonio. When referring to the hospital where her little daughter spent a lot of time with very little hope of getting ahead. Today his gratitude is impossible to be equated or shown in any way. The only thing left for them is to continue supporting their case in the public domain.

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Neither of the two parents can ever forget the tireless battle they waged together with their little girl and all the doctors who took care of her case. That is why
he closes the interview with the following words: "What they did for our daughter is something for us that no amount of money could pay, but we just want to help other children," he added.

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