Calvin, 17, has Williams Syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental disorder. Set to graduate from DBHS next year, Calvin spent his high school years as water boy for the football team, and was also involved with track and field. During the school’s recent Homecoming game, Calvin received a big surprise: the athletic department gave him his own letterman jacket.
“Coach Ryan Maine and trainer Stacy Camou got together and gave him a letterman jacket right before the game, when the football players were announced with their parents and standing on the sideline,” Cloris said. “They called us up and placed us in the middle of the field and said some wonderful things about Calvin. It was so touching and wonderful, and he was so excited and happy.”
Although Calvin couldn’t play or compete, being part of the team in some capacity was an enriching experience.
The Williams Syndrome Association will celebrate 30 years of support and education for individuals with WS and their families at next summer’s National Convention – July 3-7 in Boston, Massachusetts. Throughout the week we will bring together more than 60 experts for education and networking opportunities. The WSA’s national convention and international professional conferences are the premier continuing education event for Williams syndrome, offering unparalleled program quality and diversity. We hope you will join us!
Joshua Levinson is a popular person atBeaumont Hospital in Royal Oak for a couple of reasons — his infectious smile and his candy cart.
The 31-year-old Royal Oak resident is known in some circles at the hospital as the Candy Man — the guy, who as the Sammy Davis Jr. song suggests, “makes the world taste good.”
For the past half-dozen years or so, he has volunteered five mornings a week at Beaumont selling chocolate and sugary treats to the staff and visitors, and otherwise brightening mornings with his winning smile.
"I like my job. It's fun," he said as he made change for a woman in the south entrance lobby. He easily charms the customer with his friendly face and warm personality. He may not say a lot to her, but she leaves smiling.
“I would say more people know Joshua than me,” said his father, Dr. Marty Levinson, a Beaumont pediatrician, “and I have been on staff here for 31 years.”
Identified more than 40 years ago, Williams syndrome occurs in an estimated one in 20,000 births worldwide. It arises from a faulty recombination event during the development of sperm or egg cells. As a result, almost invariably the same set of about 20 genes surrounding the gene for elastin is deleted from one copy of chromosome seven, catapulting the carrier of the deletion into a world where people make much more sense than objects do. Despite a myriad of health problems and a generally low IQ, people with Williams syndrome are loquacious, sociable, and very empathetic.
Why This Blog?
I am a Dad to a great little WS person and love doing all I can to understand his world and love him better. Since information on WS is fairly rare, I thought I would share whatever I found of interest. Plus, if you know my kid, here is a great way for you to understand him better!