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Sam Bruno's legacy was alive and well at the Caruso Club Oct. 25 when some 450 people packed the hall for the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scanner annual dinner and fundraising gala.

Before he lost his battle to cancer, Sam lobbied the government to make PET Scans free. After he made that happen, he shifted his focus to acquiring a machine for Northeastern Ontario, located in Sudbury.

A PET is a medical detection tool used in clinical oncology (tumours and metastases), brain diseases (various types of dementia) and heart disease. It is also an important research tool to map normal brain and heart functions. Of the nine machines in Ontario, one is located in Thunder Bay; the rest are in southern Ontario.

Sam's brother, Frank, was at the gala dinner, where he said he was extremely honoured to have so many people be part of the bigger picture.

It's nice to know we're not alone, he said. We have a team.

Frank said the third annual event, which sold out the upper hall of the Caruso Club, was estimated to raise $60,000 for the cause.

(Sam) would be very proud, Frank said. But he'd be disappointed in the ministry in power right now. They're not listening to what the people are requesting. He'd be disappointed in his government for not having a scanner at this point not in the people.

Nickel Belt NDP MPP France Glinas spoke at the event, alongside Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, about the party's commitment to fulfilling Sam's vision.
The government of Ontario has no business forgetting (Northern cities), Horwath said. Fair is fair, and this is what this is about.

Northeastern Ontario is the only region in the province without a PET Scanner. That means people battling cancer and other diseases have to travel south to receive the diagnostic test, often when they are too sick to even leave home.

People that are sick shouldn't have to travel that far, Horwath said. It is simply asking too much it's bordering on inhumane.

That was the entire theory behind Sam's fight.

He wrote the letters, Horwath said. He made the calls. He made his point loud and clear.

It is about equality.

So far, Sudburians have supported Sam by raising more than $250,000. A PET Scanner is still a long ways away, as the pricetag on the machine is near the $3.5-million mark.

While there is still a long way to go, Horwath said watching the community come together for a cause is a prime example of people wanting to see Sam's legacy come to life.

(Everyone is here) to really make the point that this is a struggle worth keeping up, she said. We're going to make sure the PET Scanner comes to Sudbury.
Sam passed away July 15, 2010 at the Maison Vale Hospice after a long battle with cancer. He was 54.


By: Jenny Jelen - Sudbury Northern Life Staff
 | October 26, 2012 - 11:23 AM

















Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was the keynote speaker at the third annual PET Scan gala and fundraising dinner in support of Sam Bruno's legacy. She backed Sam's commitment to securing a PET scanner for Sudbury. Photo by Jenny Jelen.
Sam's legacy lives on
Original Article
Original Article
Firefighters calendar nets $30K donation for Sam Bruno fund
By: Arron Pickard - Sudbury Northern Life
 | Oct 16, 2013 - 3:45 PM


    In what Fire Chief Danny Stack said is most likely the single largest donation to a non-profit organization in his 35 years with Greater Sudbury Fire Services, firefighters handed over $30,000 to the Sam Bruno PET Scan Fund on Oct. 16.'

The money was raised through the sale of the 2013 Sudbury Firefighters Calendar. Some 3,000 calendars were sold.

The Sam Bruno PET Scan Fund committee called the donation "breathtaking. They said never in their wildest dreams would they have thought the donation would be that high, and vowed the money will be "put to good use.

A PET is a medical detection tool used in clinical oncology (tumours and metastases), brain diseases (various types of dementia) and heart disease. It is also an important research tool to map normal brain and heart functions. Of the nine machines in Ontario, one is located in Thunder Bay; the rest are in southern Ontario. The pricetag on the PET Scanner is near the $3.5-million mark.

Sam Bruno spent years lobbying the government to make PET scans free. After he made that happen, he shifted his focus to acquiring a machine for northeastern Ontario, located in Sudbury.

Unfortunately, before he could realize that goal, he lost his long battle with cancer. He died on July 15, 2010 at Maison Vale Hospice.

However, his wife, Cheryl, and family have taken up the torch in making Bruno's vision a reality. Many Sudburians have demonstrated their support to the cause, raising about $400,000 to date, including the funds from the Sudbury Firefighters Calendar.

Now, Bruno's family is preparing for fourth annual gala and fundraising dinner. It's being held Oct. 24 at the Caruso Club. Tickets are $80 per person. For more information, visit sambrunopetscanner4sudbury.ca.
Losing Locks for scanner
Original Article
By: Carol Mulligan - Sudbury Star
 | October 22, 2013 - 9:37 AM
   It was difficult to tell what Alyssa and Ava Ricci were most excited about -- getting new hairstyles, donating hair to make wigs for children, enjoying 15 minutes of fame in front of classmates or honouring the memory of a beloved family member.


They were all good causes, and the St. James School students were beside themselves with enjoyment Monday morning.

Alyssa, 10, and in Grade 5, and little sister Ava, 8, in Grade 3, had 10 inches cut from their long dark locks in front of dozens of children at the Lively separate school.

The girls decided together to go door-to-door raising money for the Sam Bruno PET Scan Fund in exchange for their promise to cut their hair. They also decided to donate their locks to a good cause.

Bruno's mother, Rosina Bruno, is the sister of the girls' grandmother, Lisa Ricci.

The girls set a target of raising $1,000 toward the cost of having a positron emission tomography scanner installed at Health Sciences North, a cause that was dear to the heart of their cousin, Sam Bruno.

Bruno died in 2010 at age 55 after a long battle with colorectal cancer. He fought fiercely in the last two years of his life to gain access to PET scanning, a sophisticated diagnostic for staging cancer treatment, and to have a PET scanner in Sudbury.

What made the hair-cutting event more significant Monday was that Sam Bruno's daughter, Christina, was wielding the scissors. A stylist at Pandemonium Salon on Larch Street, Christina Bruno and her family were overwhelmed at their young relatives' thoughtfulness and generosity.

"I'm proud of those girls," said Bruno before securing their hair with elastics and cutting off 10-inch pony tails.

Her family has never given up on her father's determination to get a PET scanner for northeastern Ontario. Her little cousins will present a cheque representing the results of their efforts Thursday at the fourth annual Sam Bruno PET Scan Fundraising Gala at the Caruso Club.

Bruno credits family members for continuing to work toward her father's dream.

"It's mandatory, it's common sense to me," said Bruno of having a PET scanner in Sudbury. "This machine is going to save lives. It's going to happen. It's happening everywhere else."

Sam's mother, Rosina, was moved, saying her son would have been so proud of the little girls.

For Ava, it was a chance to get rid of the hair that has been bugging her for months.
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