Family: Teen with down syndrome turned away from gym - | WBTV Charlotte

Family: Teen with down syndrome turned away from gym

(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South family with two children says they tried to join a fitness center earlier this week but were turned away because the staff was not trained to deal with one of their children, who has Down Syndrome.

"After we purchased our family membership, we could only bring three-quarters of our family," said mother Sherrie Cates.

No matter the day or circumstance, 13-year-old Mollie Cates is a happy young lady.

Her parents said they were shocked at how they were treated when they took Mollie and her older sister to Ripley Family Fitness Center Monday.

"We got turned away because of her," said father Kevin Cates.

Kevin and his wife said it was the first time all four family members had been to the gym together.

"Their brochure says they don't turn anyone away, anyone can come in. But, we were met at the door and they said their staff isn't trained to deal with anyone like Mollie," said Sherrie.

Sherrie said her daughter is in a regular class at school and even participates in physical education. She said there is no reason she should not be able to go to the gym.

"We were never given a chance to say, 'We'll be with her. This is how we can work with her.' We were just told, 'No, there's no one here who can work with her,'" said Sherrie.

The gym is owned and operated by the city of Ripley.  City attorney Steve Crain said the gym has never come in contact with a customer with Down Syndrome.

Crain says they are working now on ways to accommodate Mollie Cates.

"She needs to be strong and healthy just like everyone else. I want her to have that chance," said Kevin.

City Attorney Steve Crain says the Cates family never included Mollie's name on the official application, which also requires a doctor's statement for membership.

Crain calls the whole thing a misunderstanding.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Mint Hill neighbors say fire hydrants needed after massive blaze

    Mint Hill neighbors say fire hydrants needed after massive blaze

    Saturday, March 25 2017 11:43 PM EDT2017-03-26 03:43:02 GMT
    (Christian Flores | WBTV)(Christian Flores | WBTV)

    After a Mint Hill family is now without a home after a massive fire Friday night, neighbors said the damage to the home could have been minimized, if one of their long-time concerns had been addressed. Neighbors told WBTV there are no fire hydrants in their neighborhood. The fire happened around 8 Friday night, at a home on Saffir Court. According to fire officials at the scene, the closest fire hydrant was almost a mile away. "We watched them set up the portab...

    More >>

    After a Mint Hill family is now without a home after a massive fire Friday night, neighbors said the damage to the home could have been minimized, if one of their long-time concerns had been addressed. Neighbors told WBTV there are no fire hydrants in their neighborhood. The fire happened around 8 Friday night, at a home on Saffir Court. According to fire officials at the scene, the closest fire hydrant was almost a mile away. "We watched them set up the portab...

    More >>
  • Two people killed in crash on I-77 SB in Chester County

    Two people killed in crash on I-77 SB in Chester County

    Saturday, March 25 2017 5:50 PM EDT2017-03-25 21:50:45 GMT
    (Jordan Sawyers | WBTV)(Jordan Sawyers | WBTV)

    The wreck happened on I-77 southbound at mile marker 68.

    More >>

    The wreck happened on I-77 southbound at mile marker 68.

    More >>
  • Molly's Kids: 15-year-old now living with pediatric MS

    Molly's Kids: 15-year-old now living with pediatric MS

    Saturday, March 25 2017 6:49 PM EDT2017-03-25 22:49:09 GMT

    Sarah is a sophomore who makes straight A’s at McDowell Early College. She is from the small town of Dysartsville and was diagnosed with pediatric multiple sclerosis in July of last year.

    More >>

    Sarah is a sophomore who makes straight A’s at McDowell Early College. She is from the small town of Dysartsville and was diagnosed with pediatric multiple sclerosis in July of last year.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly