Community supports cancer patient

Debbie Rose, 6, battling stage 4 neuroblastoma

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  • Deborah Mastrolacasa pictured with Sparta Lanes owners Pete and Melissa Prestipino.

— They say it takes a village to raise a child. Nothing could be more true when your child is fighting for her life.

This past weekend, the village turned out to show their support and commitment to a special little girl.

Siz-year-old Deborah Mastrolacasa, or Debbie Rose, of Andover, has been battling Stage Four Neuroblastoma since her diagnosis on March 5, 2013.

This past September, she became paralyzed from the waist down and now requires a wheelchair.

Debbie must travel into New York City with her parents for radiation treatments. Between physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, treatments, equipment for the paralysis, and the cost of travel, the bills have been adding up. In fact, Debbie was recently hospitalized with pneumonia.

Sparta Lanes helped raise money for the family.

“When I heard about Debbie, I knew we had to step up and help this family,” said Peter Prestipino, owner of Sparta Lanes in Sparta. “We raised over $1,400 for the Debbie Rose Foundation. We were very pleased by the outpouring of support for our first fundraiser as the new owners of Sparta Lanes.”

Debbie has battled cancer, and despite being in the middle of treatment, she was able to bowl at Sparta Lanes on both days of the event with the use of a ramp to help her throw the ball down the lanes.

"I was thrilled with the donations, however the best moment was to see Deborah's face light up as she bowled,” said Melissa Prestipino, the fundraiser's organizer.

Among the many generous donations, J Thomas Jewlers donated a $1,000 gift card. The winner of the gift was Sparta resident Donna Villavicencio, who decided to give her winnings to the Mastrolacasa family.

"I realized that most of the money raised would go to medical stuff,” said Villavicencio. “I really wanted Deborah, her mom and little sister to get to enjoy the gift of the jewelry and forget all else."

The community came together and showed their support for Deborah with lane sponsors from several companies including SchoolCraft Studios, Splash Pool Filling Service, True Productions Digital, Derek Noonan DMD, Sparta Pet Shoppe, Nutty Over Sweets, Casual Canine, and Therapeutics Unlimited Physical Therapy.

Donation items came from businesses including Sparta Lanes, Music Together, NPower Personal Training, Revel in Style Salon and Spa, Kroghs, Premier Designs Jewelry, Therapeutics Unlimited Physical Therapy, Stella and Dot, Origami Owl, Lia Sophia, The Centre for Dance Artistry, Fit by D Personal Training, Thirty-One Gifts, Beachbody, Sparta Athletic Club, S.C.3. Entertainment, Origami Owl, and Veteran 550.

For more information on the Deborah Rose Foundation or how to help the family visit The Deborah Rose Foundation on Facebook.

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