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!