12-year-old leukemia survivor just wants to meet the Pope

Jasmine with family

Jasmine Munoz could have met Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, gone to a beach or taken a cruise, but the 12-year-old leukemia survivor would rather see the Vatican and meet Pope Francis.

Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to granting the wishes of children with serious diseases, Jasmine's dream will come true. She and her family will travel to Rome on Friday for a week.

After Jasmine entered the hospital, a social worker told the family about the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Jasmine said she wanted to see Rome and the Vatican. Everyone was surprised by the choice.

'I was given a book about Italy and fell in love with that country,' she said. 'I want to know the Pope because at this moment, he is the representative of Jesus on earth. I will ask him about his life, how he lives.'

Jasmine added: 'I chose Rome because I like Europe - the language, the food, the churches and the history.' And although it was not possible to obtain a private audience with the Pope, Jasmine will be present at a public audience.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The process starts with a wish referral. Referrals come from parents, doctors, social workers and others who know about a child living with medical problems, said Jen Wilson, marketing director at the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area chapter. Last year, the chapter received 413 referrals, and 262 of them were granted.

The most common wish is a trip to Disneyland, Disney World or a Disney cruise. The last child to wish for a meeting with the Pope was in 2010. And that child did get to meet the Pope.

Make-A-Wish picks up all the costs of someone's wish. If that wish involves travel costs like transportation and accommodations, Make-A-Wish gets by with the help of many donors. In addition to financial contributions from individuals, corporations, clubs and other groups, in-kind contributions of goods or services play a big role.

Jasmine was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2011. What started as a stomachache ended with the news she had cancer of the blood.

Photo: The Munoz family at their home in Oakley, California. From left: Isabela, Normal, Jasmine, Ignacio and Camila

FULL STORY 12-year-old's wish to go to Vatican, see Pope Francis to come true (NCR)

Mass on Demand


From Parish of Our Lady of The Way, North Sydney & Lavender Bay. The first Mass of the day on YouTube

Mass Online


Live streamed from Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara


Daily Prayer

Daily Prayer

All your daily readings, reflections and prayers can be found here...