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Saluting our moms: Stonington grad Falecia Cabral and mom Fran Rafferty

Falecia Cabral remembers being in middle school and having people tell her “let us know if there’s anything you need.” Cabral didn’t know what they meant. Her mom, Fran Rafferty, was in her first of what would be two bouts with breast cancer, but Cabral never saw Rafferty change her everyday role as Supermom.

“Looking back on it, it’s crazy she went through all that,” Cabral said. “I really didn’t see it affect her at all. Cooking dinner. My laundry was never not done. ... Other people wouldn’t be able to handle that.”

Cabral, 26, is a 2013 graduate of Stonington High School where she was a first team Eastern Connecticut Conference all-star while playing for the girls’ basketball team. She went on to play at Cuesta College in California and at UConn Avery Point before earning a scholarship to play at Division II Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Cabral served as the interim coach for the Stonington girls’ basketball team this season with longtime head coach Paulla Solar taking the year off due to the risk of COVID-19. Cabral also works at Electric Boat and co-owns Progression Training in Groton along with her fiance Keith Porter.

She recalls always being able to tell that Rafferty was in attendance when she played basketball.

“She has this stomp,” Cabral said. “She’ll stomp her foot on the bleachers. She’s always the loudest one in the gym.”

Rafferty is part owner of her family’s restaurant, Cafe G.Raffs in Haverhill, Mass., but is currently working in the kitchen at Westerly Packing Company.

“Absolutely, I can’t imagine having anyone else as my mom,” Cabral said. “She’s super supportive. No matter what I do, she’s always in my corner. She’s my best friend, my sister, my mom, all three.”

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