Jersey girl gets standing ovations at State of the Union
WASHINGTON —A New Jersey girl who was a special guest of President Donald Trump for the State of the Union address got three standing ovations during Tuesday night's speech.
Seated next to first lady Melania Trump, the president called 10-year-old Grace Eline from Long Hill “very brave” and “an inspiration to us all” as he described the fourth grader's battle with cancer and her own support for other cancer patients.
“Hi Grace," said Trump as she got a standing ovation.
She waved to the crowd as Trump talked about her yearly birthday request of donations to St. Jude's Children's Hospital in lieu of gifts since she was 4-years-old.
"She did not know that one day she might be a patient herself. Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer and she began began radiation treatment. At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 for the fight against cancer," Trump said to another standing ovation for the girl.
"When Grace completed treatment last fall her doctors and nurses cheered. They loved her. They still love her. With tears in her eyes she hung up a poster that read 'last day of chemo,'" said Trump to a third standing ovation. "Thank you. You are a great inspiration to everyone in this room. Thank you very much."
Trump said his next budget will include $500 million over the next 10 years to fund new children's cancer research.
Long Hill schools superintendent Edwin Acevedo told New Jersey 101.5 in an email that he watched the speech and was "completely moved" by the her presence in the House chambers for the address.
"Grace is a caring and generous student who displayed such poise and confidence. We are all very proud of her. The students and staff were completely surprised to see her on television and we are all so very proud of her. Once she returns to school, we will be sure to recognize her."
Eline was one of 13 invited guests of the president's.
During an appearance on "Fox and Friends" on Wednesday morning, she said it was "very cool because I always looked up to her and to be right next to her that was pretty amazing."
RWJ Barnabas Health said on Facebook that Eline was treated at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children's Hospital of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey-CINJ. She also received help from @thevaleriefund, and is now cancer free, according to the hospital.
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