CNN's Andrew Kaczynski Mourns Death of Baby Daughter Francesca
CNN political reporter Andrew Kaczynski and his wife and Wall Street Journal bank reporter Rachel Louise Ensign mourn their 9-month-old daughter Francesca, who died on Christmas Eve after fighting cancer.
Andrew, 31, shared the devastating news on Twitter. "We're broken that we have to announce our beautiful daughter Francesca, who died last night in the arms of her mother and father," he tweeted. "There will always be a bean-sized hole in our hearts for her. We are so grateful that we knew her love. Francesca, we love you."
Andrew announced in September that Francesca was diagnosed with "extremely rare and very aggressive rhabdoid brain tumor" at the age of 6 months. Since then, his friends, CNN peers like Jake Tapper, and Twitter followers have rallied behind Francesca and her family as they posted updates on their health. Months ago she underwent brain surgery and developed meningitis. For the past few weeks, Francesca has been battling a fungal infection - a complication of her chemotherapy - and has been given ventilator and life support.
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On Thursday, Christmas Eve, Andrew tweeted, "If anyone can spare a prayer for our bean this Christmas, they would just ask to include Francesca in their thoughts and hope for a Christmas miracle for our family." Hours later, he announced her death and his wife shared an obituary they wrote for their little girl.
"In her short life, Francesca was an open-minded, courageous and curious baby," it said. “She had huge, deep brown eyes that watched everything her parents did. She loved to eat and be held, especially in the evenings. A fan of Sesame Street in Brooklyn, Francesca took long walks in New York City and Boston and played with theirs Toys and balloons, speech therapy, and "petting" (ie, grasping) her cat Ryland. "
The couple wrote, "One of her favorite things to do was practice rolling from side to side in her crib. She loved seeing her parents Andrew Kaczynski and Rachel Ensign and watching them with the biggest smile in the world and an excited kick greet when she woke up. She was so generous with them even when most of the smiles were covered back in masks and even when faced with challenges that would terrify an adult, like a diagnosis of cancer or a being born with hearing loss. "
Andrew and Rachel wrote that their child "showed their parents a kind of love they have never known and will never forget". The obituary also states that Francesca is also survived by her "Bubbe, her grandparents, her aunt, her uncle and her cousins".
Instead of flowers, food or gifts of any kind, donations can be made in honor of Francesca to the PMC Winter Cycle charity event, which donates its proceeds to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
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