The Sun

For Baby Colbie, Pronio’s Family Comes TogetherFree Access

One of the joys of living in a small town is that people are always willing to rally around each other in time of need or duress. Such is the case this Sunday, Feb. 12, when the Pronio’s Market family is holding a to-go breakfast fundraiser at 10 a.m.

The breakfast includes a piece of homemade sausage, ham or vegetable quiche, fruit, a slice of homemade banana bread, as well as homemade muffins. Donations of any size will be appreciated and will go to extend support to the family of long-time Pronio’s employee, Bette Bracale, whose great granddaughter, Colbie Jane Hancock, was born prematurely at 34.5 weeks, a result of a variety of serious and continuing health issues.

Colbie Jane Hancock

Mike Pronio and sisters Shelly Dohner and Lorna Thomas said that they know there are many challenges ahead for both this little girl and her entire family and they wanted to do something to help out.

“It was Lorna who came up with the to-go breakfast idea,” according to Dohner, who says she has been doing a lot of baking for the event.

Bracale, who has been a cashier at Pronio’s “like … forever …” is known for her quick wit and friendly manner as well as the colorful pins with photos of her cherished grandchildren she wears on her smock.

“Her mother, my granddaughter Madison, had an ultrasound at her 34th week, when the doctor said he had to take the baby,” Bracale said. “She was born on Nov. 10. Colbie then spent the next 57 days in the NICU at Geisinger.”

Several diagnoses were made, she said, including hydrops, an accumulation and retention of fluid and Noonan Syndrome and gastroparesis, which is paralysis of the stomach, as well as delayed stomach emptying. When she would eat, her food would just sit in her stomach and not move, causing lots of vomiting. She has “the slowest emptying stomach” her GI doctor has ever seen.

As a result, Colbie needs to be fed past her stomach, since that’s where her feeding issues stem from. That’s why she has a GJ tube and not a plain G tube implanted in her belly. The G is for the gastric (stomach) port and the J is for the jejunum (intestinal) port. 

Jan. 7 was finally discharge day, a day Madison says “wasn’t promised 58 days ago, a day we prayed for every single day.” Baby Colbie is presently at home, where her mother refers to her as her “miracle baby.”

Bette Bracale holds her granddaughter Colbie

Whether or not Colbie will always need the tube to survive is presently unknown. Doctors say that it depends on how her stomach cooperates; there is a possibility she may outgrow it or she may need it forever. 

If you would like to follow along with Colbie’s journey, you can find more information at:

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