12 year-old girl cancer-free one year after meeting pope

12 year-old Grace West's nickname is Cookie. The name is very fitting because she is definitely a one of a kind, tough cookie.

“I always looked to look forward and never look back... You have to keep going forward” Grace said.

At the age of 10, she was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer that affects the nerve cells.

"I understood that there was something in body that shouldn't have been there and I wanted to get it out” Grace said.

However, last year on December 17th, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Grace flew to Italy to meet someone special, Pope Francis.

The Holy Father kissed her forehead, and said a prayer over her.

She came back to New Jersey and continued aggressive chemotherapy among other treatment.

But just weeks before this Christmas, on Dec 11th, Grace and her family received the best Christmas gift. She found out, she was free of cancer.

"The best Christmas gift I could ever ask for, it was the power of the prayer that helped me" Grace said.

The West family says not only was Grace’s attitude always so positive, but their faith was what got them through this difficult time.

“She stayed very strong very positive and has a strong faith and was a big part of it” her mother told us.

And this Christmas Day, Grace has a message for those who stood by her side through her entire journey.

"The community was so supportive and I want to thank everyone” Grace said.

Grace still has a year of vaccine treatments and will continue to undergo scans to make sure the cancer doesn't return.
Meanwhile, her family says receiving the news that she is cancer free is a true Christmas miracle.
 

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