Little Lucas Cronan had a bone marrow transplant in July. Friends are raising money for his medical bills by hosting a motorcycle ride Oct. 12. (Special Photo)
COVINGTON - Lucas Cronan is only 15 months old, but he knows what it’s like to fight for his life. Lucas was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at 9 months old, and he’s been away from home getting treatment for the past three months.
Lucas and his mother Jessica Wyatt are residents of the Ronald McDonald House near Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. They’ve been there since the first week in August. Prior to that, Lucas was at Egleston for a month after undergoing a bone marrow transplant on July 2, the day after his first birthday.
Lucas is doing better, and Wyatt is hopeful he will come home the week of Oct. 7. His visits to the hospital have decreased from three times per week to one.
“He’s playing. He’s trying to learn how to walk. He’s into everything,” she said, adding that Lucas loves stickers, stuffed animals and dogs.
Once home, he will have to stay away from other kids as much as possible due to his compromised immune system. Renovations will also need to be made to the family home, including ripping up carpet and installing an air filtration system, to make sure it is as clean as possible to protect Lucas.
Wyatt, a second-grade teacher at Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, is working a few days a week in order to keep her job while also caring for her sick son.
Her friends and co-workers have organized a motorcycle ride and fundraiser to help her pay medical bills and related expenses and are urging the community to contribute.
“Riding with LOVE for Lucas” takes place Saturday, Oct. 12, at Jimbo’s Grill at the Mill at 2102 Main St. in Porterdale. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the one-hour bike ride through Newton begins at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 per bike and $5 for additional riders. Arts and crafts vendors can also set up booths for $25. Though pre-registration is not required, organizer Brandy Donahue asked that interested riders and vendors notify her they’ll be attending by calling 770-861-2947. Riders will receive patches to commemorate their participation.
There’s plenty to enjoy if you’re not a motorcycle rider, as well, including musical entertainment, face painting, a cornhole tournament and raffles. T-shirts are available to purchase for $10 and a portion of proceeds from food sold at Jimbo’s will also benefit Lucas.
“I think the biggest thing is that we all might need help one day and this is our way of giving support to a family that needs our help, but a fun way,” Donahue said. “I think this is more than just, ‘Here, let me give you a check.’ It’s a way for people to enjoy the company and show their support and have fun at the same time.”
Most importantly, “I don’t want to see (Lucas) get worse just because of something that could be controlled with money,” she said.
Donahue said there is a horse show planned at the Georgia International Horse Park in December to benefit Lucas. Kristen Childers, another friend, is also donating a portion of sales from Origami Owl jewelry to Lucas until Oct. 12. For more information contact Krislc52@hotmail.com.