Wareham family raising funds for Down syndrome advocacy

Jul 7, 2017

An East Wareham mother is on a mission to raise funds for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, which she says now has a critical role as it advocates against a national healthcare bill that may defund services for adults and children with the genetic disorder.

“People don’t realize what the cuts will be,” said Tammy Marot, whose 16-month-old son Oliver has Down syndrome. “Occupational and physical therapy programs, early intervention programs that help with speech – all these services may be cut.”

On Thursday, Marot’s family and friends raised funds at Papa Gino’s for the “Oliver’s Rockin’ Crew” team. The team will participate in the 7th annual Buddy Walk by the Sea in Hyannis on July 30, which benefits the congress. At the local fundraiser, 20 percent of select purchases at the pizzeria went to “Oliver’s Rockin’ Crew.”

Marot said the upcoming walk is a major fundraiser for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress. The organization offers support programs for individuals with Down syndrome and their families, she said. Marot noted it also supports legislation designed to assist those with Down syndrome.

With the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 now under consideration in the U.S. Senate, Marot said that role is important as the act may cut Medicaid funds. That would spell a reduction in services, including job placement, occupational therapy and speech therapy programs, for those with Down syndrome, she said.

“These kids and these adults live lives that matter and can become productive members of society if given the chance,” said Marot. “People give up on these kids before they are even given an opportunity, and we want to change that.”

“Oliver’s Rockin’ Crew” hopes to raise $6,000 for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress. To donate before the Buddy Walk, click here.