Just two months ago, a Philadelphia family brought their daughter to see the Pope, who gave her a kiss on the head. Now, recent scans reveal that the large tumor the girl had in her brain has shrunk significantly.
Joey and Kristen Masciantonio are the parents of Gianna, who has an extremely rare and, unfortunately, inoperable brain tumor as a result of a blood disease. Just weeks after her birth, Gianna’s very own blood cells began attacking her brain stem. The brain stem is what controls basic human functions like breathing and blinking, so any issues may lead to incredibly problematic conditions. The tumor that developed near Gianna’s brain stem was inoperable, so her parents were focusing on spending as much time with her while they still could.
Two months after Joey and Kristen brought their daughter to be kissed by the Pope, brain scans reveal her tumor has shrunk significantly. According to Kristen, Gianna’s mother, “She’s getting better and stronger. She’s blowing kisses. She’s starting to point at things.” Joey, her father, shares similar sentiments. He said, “I think this is all from God. I believe the Pope is a messenger from God.”
An even stranger coincidence is that the man who held Gianna while she was kissed by the Pope was named Dominic, which is also the name of Gianna’s older brother. The family believes the matching names are further proof that divine intervention is to blame for Gianna’s shrinking tumor.
It’s stories like these that really inspire people to have faith, and even non-believers tend to get teary-eyed when hearing about miracles like these. But is it really a miracle? Or was there something in the Pope’s kiss that inspired so much optimism in the family that their sick daughter was simply reinvigorated and given the strength she needed to fight the tumor? It’s unclear, but what is clear is that this story has a very happy ending. Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone should go running to the Pope for a peck on the cheek, but it does mean that people should never forget the importance of believing in yourself.