CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski and his wife, Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Louise Ensign, expressed their gratitude for the messages and donations following the death of their 9-month-old daughter, Francesca, on Christmas Eve due to cancer.
"Thank you everyone, your messages have touched our hearts,” Kaczynski tweeted on Saturday. “We're so grateful for how much money has been raised in Francesca's honor for Dana Farber to fight this terrible disease and we are going to spend the rest of our lives involved in finding a cure.”
Shortly after sharing his message of gratitude on Saturday, Kaczynski posted a short clip of Francesca to Twitter that was filmed in late July. In the video, she's smiling and laughing, showing off her bubbly personality.
"I know a lot of you didn’t know Beans before her cancer diagnosis in September," he wrote. "She had such a pep in her step before she started treatment. And we’re so fortunate she got six normal months of life."
Kaczynski announced on Twitter in September that Francesca had been diagnosed with an “extremely rare and very aggressive rhabdoid brain tumor."
He shared updates in the months to follow on his daughter’s condition. The infant underwent multiple brain surgeries in September. In mid-December, the reporter shared that his daughter had developed a fungal infection as a complication of her chemotherapy and had spent two weeks a ventilator and life support.
Kaczynski shared the tragic news on Friday that Francesca had died the night before, writing, “There will always be a Bean-sized hole in our hearts for her.”
Kaczynski and Ensign described Francesca as a “bold and curious baby” in the obituary they wrote for their daughter to capture her brief life.
"Her many smiles sent a thrill through the world. She was so generous with them, even when most of the smiles back were covered by masks and even when she faced challenges that would scare an adult, like a cancer diagnosis or being born with hearing loss," the obituary read. "Francesca showed her parents a kind of love they never knew before and they will never forget it."
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in honor of Francesca to Team Beans in the PMC Winter Cycle, which raises money for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. To date, Team Beans has raised more than $360,000 to benefit the pediatric oncology and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) research at Dana-Farber.