Santino’s support system
When faced with any challenge, a support system is key to coping, whether that support is from a community of others struggling with the same disease, or family. “I think having a supportive family has helped me stay positive. On my toughest days, it’s my family that keeps me going,” he says. For example, his father attended every single doctor appointment in the first year after Santino’s diagnoses. Professionally, his photography community is ready to lend a hand. Santino also found a community of others diagnosed with acromegaly, and recently shared his story at their 2017 Canadian Acromegaly Conference in Vancouver.
Santino turns to social media to encourage others struggling to find a similar support system. His 30-second dance parties caught on—he’s received feedback from others saying they dance it out now too. “It cheers them up. It’s not just about the disease itself, but coping mechanisms.” Santino recognizes the silver lining of his disease in more than just his dance parties. “I’m not grateful that I have this disease, but I am grateful for what it has taught me. It’s brought me to another level of living,” he says. “I’ve met incredible people on my journey, and it’s helped me grow into the person that I am.” In the end, his experience with Acromegaly has turned into a positive experience. “I can’t believe that something so negative brought me to a place that’s so positive.” On top of continuing to successfully run his photography business, Santino recently took on the responsibility of joining the official Acromegaly Ambassador Initiative. At the Acromegaly Conference in September, he and five others were asked to lead the awareness movement in Canada. Stay tuned as their awareness ideas come to life before next year’s National Acromegaly Awareness Day.