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Francesca Valva

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Francesca Valva[edit]

Francesca (Selvaggio) Valva started life against all odds..[1] Before she was even born, her odds for being stillborn were 50%[2], and after birth, her odds for survival topped out at 25%[3]. As a conjoined twin, Francesca and her twin sister, Emily, beat all odds by leaving the hospital at all. Four days after their birth, on March 6, 1982, the Selvaggio sisters became the youngest conjoined twins successfully separated in the United States and the first at Johns Hopkins[4]. Francesca and Emily, who were connected at the abdomen and shared a liver, were successfully separated by a team of 22, lead by revered pediatric surgeon[5]Dr. J. Alex Haller Jr. M.D.[6]

Francesca left the hospital after about five weeks and her sister Emily joined her about eight months later[4]. Emily was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and spent her life confined to a wheelchair, unable to control muscle function or care for herself, which put her at increased risk for aspiration pneumonia[7], a condition that eventually killed her in 2013[8].

As the surviving twin, Francesca dealt with years of guilt, particularly after her sister passed away. Perhaps most painful for Francesca was learning in 2015 that cannabidiol (CBD) has antispasmodic properties[9][10][11]. Since learning that fact, Francesca has committed herself to sharing her story — and advocating for CBD awareness— in the hopes of preventing similar travesties for other families[9].  

On January 31, 2019, Francesca Valva wrote in her personal biography, "Millions of families can benefit from CBD, which may be the most important plant compound to ever be available for conditions ranging from epilepsy to PTSD. To those who say CBD can’t be everything to everyone, I compare CBD’s multitude of benefits to aspirin which is used for everything from pain relief to heart attack prevention."

For Francesca, the time for awareness is now, the time for action is now[12]


  1. "Siamese twin Girls Separated at Hopkins". The Washington Post. March 8, 1982. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  2. "Conjoined Twins". Wikipedia. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  3. "Conjoined twins". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Second Siamese twin leaves hospital". UPI. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  5. "Native son, revered surgeon dies | The Southwest Times". Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  6. "Alex Haller, Founder of Pediatric Surgery at Johns Hopkins, Pioneer of Pediatric Trauma Care, Dies At 91". Johns Hopkins Medicine Newsroom. 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  7. "Respiratory Health". Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  8. Valva, Francesca (October 29, 2013). "A Farewell To the Most Amazing Person I've Known". Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Vavala, Francesca (August 15, 2018). "Becoming Francesca Cann". LinkedIn. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  10. "Cerebral Palsy and Medical Marijuana". Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  11. "FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy". Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  12. "Alias Cann | #Significannt". Alias Cann | Cannabis Sales & Marketing. Retrieved 2019-02-12.

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