Who is Grace Eline? The 10-year-old who sat by First Lady during State of the Union

The State of the Union address often features a special guest of the president, and this year was no exception.

Sitting next to First Lady Melania Trump Tuesday night was Grace Eline.

The 10-year-old from New Jersey was one of the people that President Donald Trump took time to acknowledge during his speech.

From an early age, instead of birthday gifts, Grace asked that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, reported. In a sad twist, when she was 9 Grace was diagnosed with a brain tumor, according to the website.

Grace Eline waves as President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik AP

Although she had a rare form of cancer, Grace had chemotherapy last year and “was pronounced cancer free in October,” per

That didn’t stop Grace from trying to help the fight against cancer.

On her 10th birthday in December, she held a “dance-a-thon fundraiser,” to raise money for a charity that supports kids with cancer, according to the Daily Record.

Trump acknowledged Grace midway through his address.

Joining Melania in the gallery this evening is a very brave 10-year-old girl, Grace Eline,” Trump said, CNN reported. “Every birthday since she was 4, Grace asked her friends to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She did not know that one day she might be a patient herself.

“Grace recently finished chemotherapy and today shows no evidence of the disease. She is determined to help other children who are fighting cancer,” Trump said.

This is not the first time Grace has been on a large stage.

While she was still being treated for her brain tumor, Grace was named the New York Jets honorary captain for an NFL preseason game, according to

“Everyone who knows Grace would tell you that she has always been special,” the White House said in a statement, reported. “Wherever she goes, she brightens the room with her kind heart and infectious smile.”

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.