ALS Care Project is highly indebted to Shari Francis, wife of her late husband, Jeffery Francis, for the generous annual grants for multiple years from the JL Francis Fund for ALS Research at the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. The fund made it possible for Pamela Cazzolli, principle investigator and co-authors of the longitudinal study of ALS patients, to complete and publish the research study for making a significant difference in the lives of people with ALS. Cazzolli and team developed a scale for predicting tolerance of noninvasive ventilation and prognostic factors for survival of ALS. Through the years, the study involved giving scientific presentations at international conferences. A major goal of ALS is to establish best practices of ALS care through collaborative research and education.
Betty’s late husband, Greg Giacometti, was a lifelong resident of Alliance, Ohio. After
graduating from Alliance High School in 1968, Greg served four years in the US Air
Force and was stationed in Aviano, Italy. Then Greg became a licensed social worker,
after obtaining a degree from Kent State University. Greg served 15 years as the
Consultation and Education Director for Crisis Intervention Center of Stark County.
Over a year after his diagnosis of ALS at the age of 44, he retired on January 17, 1996.
Greg was an avid Steeler’s fan and enjoyed golfing, basketball and model trains. Greg
was also very creative. He actually taught himself to paint and write Chinese, while he
still had use of his arms. According to Betty, “Greg never quit.” He kept busy every day
and enjoyed life, despite his progressive disability. Greg was also very much loved and
cared about by many in the community. He developed a close relationship with the
group of musicians in Alliance, Jimmy, and the Soulblazers, who visited with Greg
periodically and sang Greg’s favorite songs.
Betty Giacometti also faithfully served as Greg’s primary caregiver for 16 years. Betty
provided Greg meticulous round-the- clock care and made it possible for Greg to live the
best life possible. Although ALS struck him down, Greg decided that he would not allow
ALS to defeat him. And with his loving, dedicated wife by his side, they decided
together to make eachdayahomerun. In fact, Betty Giacometti, who continues to
reside in Alliance, is truly a hidden figure of remarkable caregivers in the community
whose story someday should be told in a book.
ALS Care Project is deeply grateful for Betty Giacometti sponsoring an annual benefit
dinner dance in memory of her late husband, Greg, at Don Panchos Tex-Mex Café in
Alliance in the years 2015 – 2017. Jimmy and the Soul Blazers provided the
entertainment. Also, at the event, Betty prepared many beautiful gift baskets and raffle
prizes. Each year the gala event has been attended by 150+ people. Special kudos goes
to Betty Giacometti!
ALS Care Project extends the deepest appreciation to Johanne Simone for her generous and faithful giving. Ms. Simone has a passion to the cause of ALS. Her father succumbed to ALS years ago. She recalls many of the problems that he faced, long before ALSCP was established. She believes in the ALSCP mission.
ALSCP thanks Ms. Simone from the bottom of our hearts.