A.C. Police, Community Donations Get Handicapped Teen Much-Needed Ramp

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A wheelchair bound teenager is feeling the support of his community as funds were raised to make him and his family’s lives a little easier. 

Meet 13-year-old Christopher Lamarre. 

“Christopher is a 13-year-old boy from Haiti," said Erica Swartz, a clinical supervisor with the Wright Choice for Home Health Care, an organization that is helping the teenager. "Christopher and his family moved here about six years ago and he suffers from cerebral palsy. He’s wheelchair bound and not able to walk.”

What made matters worse is his home in Egg Harbor Township wasn’t handicapped accessible, causing him to be carried in and out of the house.

Within 24 hours, more than enough money was raised to get him that ramp

“His mom and his nurses were having a hard time carrying him up and down the stairs to get him in and out of the house,” said Swartz. 

“It’s too hard to let him out," said Jean Lamarre, Christopher’s father. He said it also became much harder to "lift him and put him in the chair outside" when they were confronted with inclement weather.  

So, they set out to get him a ramp until they discovered that their insurance wasn’t going to cover it. 

“That’s when we decided that we needed to go out and raise the money to get Christopher a ramp,” said Swartz. 

That’s where the community came in.

“Once Erica told me about the situation that Christopher was in, and without even thinking about it, I told Erica and her company that I would go out and raise the money,” said Atlantic City Police Officer Jimmy Rodriguez, who is also Swartz’s boyfriend. 

Within 24 hours, more than enough money was raised to get him that ramp.

“The ramp ended up costing about $1,200," said Rodriguez. "With all the donations, we were able to raise the $1,200 plus a little more just to give the family a gift for any [other] needs they have.” 

On Tuesday, August 29th, with an Atlantic City Police escort, they were able to finally deliver the much-needed ramp to the Lamarre family.  

“With the ramp, they’ll be able to get in and out without any trouble,” said Swartz. 

This act of kindness by a few conscientious members of the community meant all the world to this family of five. 

“This is a big thing for us," said Jean. "The family is very happy. Thank you so much.” 

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