Girl with down syndrome fought the city, won - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Girl with down syndrome fought the city, won

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    Wednesday, April 10 2013 6:50 PM EDT2013-04-10 22:50:47 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South family with two children said they tried to join a fitness center earlier this week. But staff members turned them away because they were not trained to deal with one of their daughtersMore >>
    A Mid-South family with two children said they tried to join a fitness center earlier this week. But staff members turned them away because they were not trained to deal with one of their daughters who has Down Syndrome.More >>

(WMC-TV) - A family said they are celebrating access to a city fitness center after one of their children were turned away a few weeks ago.

Mollie Cates' mom and dad said they were denied access to Ripley's Fitness Center because the staff there is not properly trained to deal with Mollie, who has Down syndrome.

Sherrie Cates said it has been an interesting two weeks as she, her husband, and their 13-year-old daughter, who has down syndrome, have been fighting their own city for admission into Ripley Family Fitness Center.

Now, Sherrie Cates said she is glad an agreement has been reached.

"I'm satisfied, I'm glad it's a change for the whole community cause this is something that benefits the community," said Cates.

More than two weeks ago, Mollie and her parents, Kevin and Sherrie Cates, said they were turned away from the Ripley Family Fitness Center.

The Cates argued they were turned away because their staff was not trained to deal with someone with down syndrome.

The Cates hired an attorney to help them get to the bottom of the matter.

"We've also had encouragement from the community, from the county, the people sharing their stories with us so it makes me happy we would do something for the community in a positive way," said Cates.

Attorneys on both sides of the matter have now reached a settlement. Because Ripley Family Fitness is city owned, the city has agreed to pay the Cates legal fees up to a thousand dollars.

They have also given the Cates family, including Mollie, a year long free membership to the facility.

The city is also requiring a signed doctors consent for anyone wanting to join the fitness center.

Sherrie Cates says Mollie's doctor has signed off and given her clearance to join.

The city still claims they have done nothing wrong, but they wanted to do everything in their power to accommodate the Cates family.

"That's Mollie Cates.That's what she does. She brings out the best in people and we'll continue to fight for her until we're gone," said Cates.

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