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Rome Reports

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Elaine just cured of cancer, celebrates with Pope Francis


In 2015, 10 days before Elaine turned 15, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic tissue. 

Make-A-Wish Foundation found out her story and decided to help her fulfill a wish. She asked to meet Pope Francis, along with her two parents and younger sister. 

ELAINE
“Three years ago I got sick and was given the opportunity to make a wish, through Make-A-Wish. I wanted to come to Italy, to the Vatican, to see the pope. This is because he is a very important figure, who has inspired others, especially the youth. I thought it would be a tremendous experience to remember for the rest of my life.”

Make-A-Wish is a foundation that fulfills the dreams of children between the ages of three and 18 who have a serious illness. Last year, it fulfilled more than 15,300 wishes, an average of one every 34 minutes.

ELVIRA SCHETTINO
Make-A-Wish Foundation
“We fulfill their wishes, everything they want we try to fulfill.” “Make-A-Wish is international. It operates in 33 countries around the world. It was started in the United States. Here in Italy, the headquarters are located in Genoa. From Genoa we work all over the country.”

MICHELLE GONZÁLEZ
Elaine's Mother
“It grants wishes to children who have had a serious illness or who have been at risk of dying. The child's primary physician refers the case to Make-A-Wish. The organization then grants a wish to the child for having suffered his or her condition or illness. This is why we are here today.”

Elaine was receiving chemotherapy for four months. A year later, the doctor announced the disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer. Her next wish was to meet the pope and today her two dreams have come true.

ELAINE
“The pope came out and went by chair-by-chair greeting and shaking hands with everyone. We were able to talk to him, everyone gave him gifts. We gave him a Puerto Rican hand made gift.”

Elaine will soon graduate from high school and her next dream is to be a doctor to help heal people from their illnesses, just as doctors did for her.