A LOVE STORY
In a sea of vibrant red leather, only a few seats in the theater are occupied. The bright multicolored movie lights reflect on the faces of the lone patrons.
A couple sits in two of the four occupied seats. Down the row are their mothers, both invested in the movie.
As the couple’s hands intertwine, the two rest their heads against one another. After a few scenes pass, the couple looks at each other, beaming.
They are happy. It’s a Tuesday.
It’s date day.
Katie Masser, 27, and Matt Poe, 30, have been dating since March of 2022 and are currently engaged. Both Katie and Matt are people with Down syndrome and met following an isolating couple of years due to the pandemic. Prior to meeting, Katie’s mother, Amy Masser, and Matt’s mother, Leslie Poe, were trying to find activities where they could reintroduce their children to the environment around them. However, the resources available for people with special needs in Frederick County were sparse following the pandemic, according to Amy.
Upon meeting Leslie and Matt unexpectedly while grocery shopping, Amy invited them to the "Special Needs Dance Party." This was a dance class offered in Walkersville, Maryland where Amy had been taking Katie for months. This would soon become Katie and Matt’s first date, and the two have been in love since. While Katie and Matt have been together, Leslie and Amy have formed a strong friendship as well. Both Leslie and Amy are single parents and are constantly working to make the best lives they can for Matt and Katie.