Pulse: Chatter: 100 Years: “Saving Becca”

In honor of our centennial, we look back at some of the stories that shaped Philly Mag

When 13-year-old Becca Piccini of Doylestown was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 1997, it marked the start of an agonizing year she and her family spent in and out of CHOP. Philly Mag’s Ronnie Polaneczky was there, too, documenting Becca’s treatment and setbacks for what would be one of the decade’s most memorable pieces — albeit a tough one to report, admits Polaneczky. “It’s really hard to see these beautiful kids battling horrible diseases,” she says. Thankfully, the Piccinis’ battle — and the story “Saving Becca” (August 1999) — ended with a triumph over cancer, and today, Polaneczky offers a great epilogue to a piece that shined a light on CHOP and earned a National Magazine Award nomination: Last year, Becca gave birth to a healthy baby girl.