Ripon girl launches 2005 St. Baldrick's campaign
Francesca Arnaudo was 6 when she lost a bone in her right arm to osteosarcoma. Now 8, the Ripon
third-grader was diagnosed in December with a second form of cancer, leukemia. One of the gymnastics enthusiast's
first concerns: that chemotherapy for her leukemia would cheat her of the chance to participate in St.
Baldrick's day, held each March to raise money for childhood cancer research.
The little girl's solution: to shave her head right away, before her sandy blond hair could fall out
due to chemotherapy. Moved by Francesca's decision, the New York-based St. Baldrick's organization chose
the two-time cancer patient to kick off the organization's 2005 head-shaving campaign in California. The
shave took place at UC Davis Medical Center on Jan. 14. At Francesca's request, Ted Zwerdling, her pediatric
oncologist, acted as barber. Afterward, he let Francesca shave him bald. Dino, Francesca's 10-year-old
brother, let her shave his head as well.
The St. Baldrick's head-shaving campaign has raised nearly $7 million dollars for childhood cancer research
since 2000, when three Irish insurance executives from New York City conceived the idea to have volunteers
in cities across the country shave their heads in public on or near St. Patrick's Day in return for financial
pledges from friends and family.
To make a pledge in Francesca's name, contact the Keaton Raphael Memorial at (916) 784-6786 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Keaton Raphael Memorial is a Roseville-based organization that coordinates St. Baldrick's activities
in the Sacramento region. The 2005 shave dates are March 17, at the Woodcreek Golf Course in Roseville,
and March 19, at the Empire Club in Sacramento. For more information, visit www.childcancer.org