Melodies Stories

Meet Alivia Nunziato, a Melodies Center patient and special guest at Dancing in the Woods 2022.

Together, We Make a Family

Patients have described the Melodies Center as "one big family", with children of all ages befriending each other and giving each other strength. Our patients are truly inspiring!

The Melodies Center is the only childhood cancer center in the region, and it offers highly specialized pediatric cancer care and a lifeline to more than 1,400 families a year. In addition to cancer, the Center cares for children with sickle cell disease, hemophilia, and other blood disorders.

Here are some stories about our Melodies patients, families, and staff members who make this Center so special.

Hannah's Hideaway

A hospitality kitchen to benefit families whose child is receiving treatment at the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders was unveiled in September 2022. Hannah’s Hideaway was dedicated in memory of Hannah Priamo, a Melodies Center patient from Perth, N.Y., who passed away in December 2019. Diagnosed with leukemia at age 15, Hannah was a longtime patient at the Melodies Center, and quickly became a friendly face in the clinic.

It was Hannah’s dream to build a kitchen in the Melodies Center, so families have a place to get a cup of coffee or a snack without leaving the floor while their child is getting treatment.

The project was made possible by a fundraiser Hannah planned, and by several generous donations from the community.

Learn more about Hannah's Hideaway .

Meet Katelyn Hogan

Katelyn Hogan has had a love of musical theater since she was four years old. Singing, acting, and dancing have always been in her blood.

In 2016, Hogan, then nine, started to feel a pain in her stomach. After it persisted for a couple of days, her parents took her to the family’s pediatrician. The recommendation was for imaging—first an X-ray, then an ultrasound, and finally an MRI. This was done at Malta Med Emergent Care, a part of the Albany Med Health System.

A physician’s assistant would meet with Hogan’s parents to deliver the news—a diagnosis of a Wilms tumor, the most common type of pediatric kidney cancer.

Hogan was transported by ambulance to the Massry Family Children’s Emergency Center at Albany Medical Center. There, her diagnosis was confirmed, and she would soon undergo an exploratory surgery to determine if the tumor was intact. Three days after first complaining of stomach pain, Hogan underwent a 10-hour operation to remove a kidney and adjacent adrenal gland.

Eager to get back to good health, Hogan was up and walking on the second day after the successful surgery. She would spend 10 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Albany Medical Center. She would then undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments for the next six months.

Hogan credits the medical team at the Albany Med Health System with getting her back to good health. That includes her physician, Jennifer Pearce, MD, who she said shaved her head in solidarity as part of a fundraiser taking place at the time.

“The experience was great. I couldn’t ask for anything better. They were all so welcoming,” Hogan said.

Hogan, now in high school, has a bright future ahead. After more than five years of regular check-ups and receiving the care she needed, Hogan was declared cancer-free in May 2022.