Impact of Giving

These are the stories of the individuals and foundations who help advance Chicago medicine and science through their vision and philanthropy.

Suzanne Zaccone at her home in Hinsdale  

Donor Stories

Breast Cancer Survivor Supports Fellowship

When businesswoman Suzanne Zaccone learned that she had breast cancer, her world—like so many others faced with the diagnosis—came crashing down around her. Seemingly healthy up until that point, she discovered that facing her fears head on was the best way to change her outlook.

Shortly after her diagnosis, Zaccone began chronicling her journey through emails to friends and family that developed into the book A Random Interruption: Surviving Breast Cancer with Laughter, Vodka, Smoothies and an Attitude.

Dubbed “raw and unflinching,” the book has already netted more than $100,000 in sales, all of which has been donated to the Medical Center, where she received her care, to support a microsurgery fellowship. “It’s exciting because this book is helping women and their families and friends know exactly what to expect when they’re diagnosed with cancer,” Zaccone says.

The microsurgery fellow will be trained to conduct breast reconstruction surgery with perforator flaps, a type of surgery performed after a mastectomy in which the tissue removed at the time of the mastectomy is replaced with the patient’s own skin tissue (often taken from the abdomen) to recreate the breast. Currently, very few medical students are being taught this particular procedure.

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