Boy With Cancer to Meet Pope, Ask for Miracle

This weekend, Dylan Hartung will have the opportunity to meet Pope Benedict XVI at a healing mass for critically ill children in New York City.

Dylan, who is from Melbourne, Australia, will ask the pontiff for a miracle – to cure him of his cancer.

Dylan has spent nearly four years in New York City receiving treatment for neuroblastoma, which he was diagnosed with in 2004.

"Dylan is going to ask him for his complete healing and to pray for all the children that are sick," said Dylan’s mother, Melissa Hartung.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the nerve tissues. He was given less than a year to live, so he has already beaten the odds once.

However, Dylan and his mother moved to Manhattan’s Ronald McDonald House in 2005 and he began treatment at the city’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he also receives chemotherapy.

Next week, doctors will try another stem cell harvest and Dylan will begin another round of stabilizing drug treatments.

Melissa Hartung said her family hopes the Pope can provide the miracle they have prayed for.

Dylan has already met actresses Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie, but the Pope was "the last person we expected to meet".

"He's a little nervous, and it's exciting," Hartung said.