Two months after Pope Francis visited Philadelphia and blessed a baby girl battling brain cancer, parents claimed their baby’s health is improving and responding to treatment.

Joey and Kristen Masciantonio assure that there is hardly any trace of the tumor in the brain of their one-year-old daughter named Gianna, a baby who have spent a lot time in the cancer ward at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia last September 26. Photo: AP.
Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia last September 26. Photo: AP.

Just weeks after her birth, Gianna, during a medical examination, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain tumor called systemic juvenile xanthogranuloma (JXG). The tumor was located in an inoperable spot, and doctors told her parents that her chances of surviving for more than a few weeks were minimum. However, a recent scan revealed that the tumor is now almost invisible.

The Masciantonio family said that the visit showed to them how important was their faith to them, helping them to overcome the situation, according to ABC. Pope Francis’ kiss was given during a parade in Philadelphia, the U.S. city where the Catholic Pontiff ended his visit to the country last September. Despite being nervous about carrying the baby to the crowd, due to the recent completion of treatment, they decided at last minute to take the risk, said Kristen Masciantonio.

Joey Masciantonio indicated that Gianna will continue to receive chemotherapy treatments, as operation still remains as a non viable option to keep reducing the tumor’s size. He added that for now, the whole family is enjoying all the time they have with her.

“She’s the toughest baby I’ve ever seen in my life,” he told ABC News. “She’s our inspiration. She’s really the best little girl.”

Source: ABC News