On what should have been Francesca Kaczynski’s first birthday, her memory was celebrated instead on national television. The ebullient baby girl, “Beans,” as she was fondly called, had died on Christmas Eve from brain cancer. And her parents, both well-known journalists, are now raising awareness and money to help other children with pediatric cancers.
When Francesca was just six months old, she was diagnosed with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor — a rare and brutal brain cancer that is diagnosed in maybe 60 people each year. The prognosis is devastating when it appears in infants. There are few effective treatment options.