The Warren community is rallying around a local couple facing every parent's worst nightmare. A fundraising dinner is planned for Oct. 22 at Market Street Pub.
Local residents Lauren and Jason Cratty have both made professions out of enriching and improving the lives of others. Lauren works at the Silver Creek Manor assisted living facility in Bristol, while Jason started his own businesses in Portsmouth called Fit4Fun, which provides personal training and fitness opportunities to kids with special needs.
The couple welcomed their first child, Skylar, into the world on Oct. 6, 2020, and all signs pointed to her being a healthy and happy child. They enrolled her at the Garden Playschool in Warren, where she showed great enthusiasm for playing and making friends.
“She was just your typical energetic, princess-loving two-and-a-half-year-old,” Lauren recalled.
But when Lauren noticed an odd bump on Skylar’s forehead that didn’t go away, things quickly took a turn.
A pediatrician ordered a CT scan, which led to more tests at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, leading to an in-patient stay for a week. After more tests, scans, bloodwork, and a bone marrow biopsy, the parents received devastating news on Sept. 1.
“They told us that she was diagnosed with a stage four neuroblastoma,” Lauren said.
On top of four cancerous masses — one on her spine and three on her skull — Skylar was also diagnosed with a separate ailment; cystic dysplasia, a disease associated with improper development of the kidneys.
“She’s been like a normal three-year-old. She's developed exactly where she needs to be. We've never had any concerns with her development growing up,” Lauren said. “And so this just kind of all hit us all at once.”
The road ahead, as you might expect, is a long and hard one for Skylar and the Cratty family. Lauren said it would be an 18-month span of intensive chemotherapy, surgery, radiation treatments, and immunotherapy. She is splitting time between Providence at Hasbro and Boston Children’s Hospital, where she will receive a stem cell treatment and additional chemotherapy.
Ways to help
A fundraiser is being planned for Sunday, Oct. 22 at Market Street Pub (99 Market St. in Warren) from 1-4 p.m. with live music, food, and raffles. All proceeds go to helping the Cratty family.
If you’re interested in purchasing tickets or donating items for the raffle, contact Katie Sarapas at 401-413-9254 or Amy Davock at 401-368-5943. Tickets can also be purchased at Market Street Pub or at the Garden Playschool.
Despite the monumentally difficult hand that has been given to her, Lauren said that Skylar has proved to be a resilient and strong patient, and is already into her second cycle of chemo. She has been blown away by the support already being shown to her through the community.
“The support has just been unimaginable. I almost don’t have words for like the support that we have got so far from the community and from everybody, it's just been absolutely amazing,” she said. “We’re just beyond grateful the support that we received. We just want everybody to know that we love everybody and we're just so grateful to have everybody behind us.”
And if you’re unable to attend the fundraiser, perhaps consider Skylar’s two favorite things in the entire world as possible gift ideas for the family — Del’s Frozen Lemonade, and chocolate Munchkins from Dunkins.