Ten-year-old Francesca Arnaudo is on a bit of a whirlwind tour.

Francesca, of Ripon, flew to Washington, D.C., and met not only Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, but also President Bush on Thursday.

Still, she said via phone from the Dirksen Senate Office Building, "my favorite part was meeting Miss America (Lauren Nelson)."

Francesca is serving as California's ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network Champions Across America tour. The nine-day tour goes from the nation's capital on to Orlando, Fla.

As an ambassador, she and the 49 other kids on the tour — one child from each state was selected — are representing the 17 million kids treated for everything from severe burns to paralysis at one of the 170 hospitals in the Children's Miracle Network. Francesca was treated at the University of California, Davis, Children's Hospital.

Although now in a full, two-year remission, Francesca has previously suffered from bone cancer and leukemia. The first illness required a year of chemotherapy and two operations to save her arm. Her second illness meant a 41-day hospital stay and a stem cell transplant, according to a news release.

McNerney, having lunched with Francesca and her family, said the tour was important.

"We want to raise the awareness of how far the treatment has gone for these diseases," particularly leukemia, which used to always be fatal in children, he said.

Francesca was selected as an ambassador because of the positive spirit she maintained while overcoming her illnesses, April Bitton, communications manager for the network said.

Francesca and the other ambassadors will meet donors and sponsors of the network — the nonprofit group has raised $2.2 billion to date to pay for state-of-the-art care — and do interviews with the media once they reach Orlando.

But it won't be all work: They also will get to enjoy some much-deserved fun at Walt Disney World.