The John Thomas and Special Friends Fund was established and is dedicated to assisting, encouraging and promoting the health, well being, happiness, education, rehabilitation and development of John Thomas and other children with special needs, by (i) providing them with long term care, medical equipment, communication devices, additional therapies, and other necessities, and (ii) supporting, financially and otherwise, educational and medical facilities, such as Children’s Hospital Boston and Perkins School for the Blind, that give care and support to John Thomas and other children with special needs.
John Thomas, for whom the fund was named and honored, was diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome called Toriello-Carey Syndrome, which presents with a constellation of multiple congenital anomalies and dysmorphic features and results in and causes mental retardation and physical handicaps at varying levels, but the cause for which is unknown. There are a number of children like John that have either not yet been diagnosed or the cause of whose debilitating syndrome or disorder is unknown. Therefore, The John Thomas and Special Friends Fund also seeks to provide financial support to medical facilities, such as Children’s Hospital Boston, focused on pediatric medical care and research to find, among other things, the cause of and eventually a treatment and cure plan for Toriello-Carey Syndrome and other debilitating, and in some cases life threatening, syndromes and disorders afflicting children with special needs in our community.
John Thomas and numerous other children with special needs are unable to experience a mainstream education due to their extensive mental and physical challenges. Therefore, The John Thomas and Special Friends Fund also seeks to provide financial support to educational institutions, such as Perkins School for the Blind, focused on the education, rehabilitation, therapy and development of children with special needs.