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Shalil Giannone

During a procedure in 2010, a dentist discovered a growth on the roof of Shalil Gianonne’s mouth, and what began as a routine visit would soon become an ACC diagnosis and treatment journey that included radiation, surgery, and the creation of an obturator—an artificial palate necessary after her operation.

A year after her surgery, Shalil heard about an ACCRF patient meeting in Boston and decided to attend. At the meeting she immediately felt a sense of connection and community she hadn’t experienced since being diagnosed.

A consummate optimist never content to stand on the sidelines, Shalil jumped at the opportunity to help further build this sense community by supporting her fellow patients. Through countless volunteer hours, Shalil Giannone has spread the word about ACCRF, planned patient gatherings, and provided hope for other people living with ACC.

As Shalil says, “I am always amazed coming away from these interactions and hope I can give help to those along this journey as much as I receive from each and every person that attends.”

With unfailing compassion, Shalil continues to ensure that ACC patients—from the newly diagnosed to those who have been living with the disease for decades—feel welcomed, supported, and less alone on their journeys.