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Friday, 06 December 2013 10:30

The Melodies of Miracles

The Melodies of Miracles

Isabella Bruno is a Living Result of Giving and Caring

SARATOGA SPRINGS – For 34 years, the Melodies of Christmas programming has delighted Capital Region audiences, whether you attend the shows live (see sidebar) at Proctors Theatre or watch on the CBS6 group of television stations to brighten your holiday with friends and loved ones. 

It is a labor of love, but a labor in the sense of planning, time, volunteerism and effort on the part of many caring people, nonetheless. 

But when you have a middle name like miracle, as in the Children’s Miracle Network, you have set quite a standard to live up to. 

And so they deliver. Again and again.

In 33 seasons, the CBS6 Melodies of Christmas, sponsored by Price Chopper and Friehofer’s, has raised $6.8 million for The Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center. According to CBS6’s News Director Lisa Jackson, they expect to top the $7 million mark with this year’s shows.

Jerry Golub: “How are you today, Isabella?”

Isabella Bruno: “I’m Great!”

- 2013 Melodies of Christmas/Price Chopper PSA

Yes, she is. And Isabella is great as a direct result of the giving that occurs each year. Even miracles sometimes require the proper infrastructure to happen.

Isabella’s story begins before she was even born. During a routine ultrasound, doctors discovered a mass near her right kidney. Her twin brother, Zachary was unaffected, but ironically it was the fact that mothers carrying twins often receive special scrutiny that Isabella’s condition was detected. Within two weeks, she was delivered by C-section. 

Only hours after her birth in California, baby Isabella was diagnosed with Stage 4s Neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that strikes infants. Three weeks later, at little more than five pounds, she underwent major surgery to remove the tumor. Fortunately, the operation was a success, but Isabella still had a long road ahead. 

Once she recovered from the surgery, her family moved from their California home to Queensbury, to be closer to family. Her doctor in San Francisco highly recommended the Melodies Center at Albany Medical Center for Isabella’s critical follow-up treatment. Without this type of facility, Anthony and Maura Bruno would never contemplate relocation During their very first visit; Isabella’s parents knew that she was in great hands. They found the hope and healing at the Melodies Center.

Today, seven-year-old Isabella is cancer-free. She loves spending time with her family, especially Zachary, her older sister Maya and their dog Lilly, and exactly 56 stuffed koalas. 

Her recovery not only allows her the ability to play with Barbie’s and Jetpack Joyride, her favorite video game, but also to ride her bike and enjoy skiing.

Thanks to support from Melodies of Christmas, Isabella’s family will proudly watch her take the stage again this year. For this is Isabella’s second time on stage. She will perform with other Melodies Center patients and take the stage alongside the Empire State Youth Orchestra and Chorale to sing “Silent Night.” Their joyful faces show the miracles made possible every day at the Melodies Center. 

And that’s what you get for your contributions. 

A happy ending — nothing less than a miracle, over and over again.

See Melodies

Performance Dates are Thursday, December 12- Saturday December 14 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and $25 and are on sale now at Proctor’s Box Office, Call (518) 346-6204 or visit proctors.org

The Empire State Youth Orchestra and Youth Chorale is again the centerpiece of the production. Special Guests in 2013 include: Everest Rising (first time in Melodies), Amy Platt and Randy Crafton (who are perennial favorites – both musicians were in Empire State Youth Orchestra and performed in Melodies as teens), Northeast Ballet and, new this year, an Insiders Special that will only be seen by theatre-goers.

Broadcast dates and times:

Christmas Eve:  5:30 and 10 p.m. on CBS6;

6:30 p.m. on THIS-TV.

Christmas Day:  11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on CBS6;

9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. on CW15

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