FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey girl who got the chance to meet Pope Francis while battling a rare form of cancer is now cancer-free.
It’s a blessed holiday season for 12-year-old Gracie West from Freehold, who just learned her cancer is in remission.
“This Christmas is going to be the best Christmas ever. It’s a Christmas miracle.”
She said she didn’t even process it at first.
“It was like a victory,” she said. “It really is just a peace of mind just thinking it’s gone, it’s not in my body anymore, but I still have lots a treatment ahead to keep it gone.”
Last December, Gracie visited the Vatican where she met with Francis as part of a trip arranged by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Gracie was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a cancer that affects the nerve cells. Her brother was with her when she met the pope — a hand shake, a brief embrace and a blessing from the Holy Father.
“Just his healing really helped and his hand of healing was just amazing,” she said.
CBS2 followed Gracie’s journey as she battled her illness with grace and a positive attitude. So young, but so full of strength, despite her struggles.
“When I first started treatment, you have no choice but to be strong, but you can choose to be happy and positive,” she said.
Gracie and her family started the Cookie’s Crumblers Foundation to help other kids with cancer.