Francesca Arnaudo, 10, a two-time cancer survivor from Ripon, Calif., has been chosen as California’s representative in the Champions Across America tour, an awareness campaign designed to highlight the work of the nation’s 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. "I’m excited to have the opportunity to help other children who’ve had traumatic experiences in their lives, and to help doctors find a cure for me and other kids," Arnaudo said.
Arnaudo was diagnosed at age six with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, and at age eight with acute myeloid leukemia, a white blood cell malignancy. Today, following four years of treatment at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Francesca is cancer-free.
"We’re thrilled that Children’s Miracle Network has selected one of our patients to represent California on its awareness tour," said Anthony F. Philipps, medical director of UC Davis Children’s Hospital. "The network is absolutely vital in supporting the extraordinary variety of programs, projects, equipment and people who make UC Davis Children’s Hospital the important resource that it is for young patients in our region. For cancer patients like Francesca, for instance, Children’s Miracle Network supports the research efforts of Dr. Douglas Taylor to eliminate leukemia recurrences."
After an exciting and emotional send-off from UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Arnaudo joined 49 other young "champions" from around the country in Washington, D.C. There, the children shared their stories of triumph during a press conference at the White House. Then, it was on to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., where they participated in the taping of a television show to be broadcast nationally.