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Love of Spider-Man

HES second grader celebrates birthday, Down syndrome awareness month

On his cell phone, James Peoples watched as his grandson, Levi Taylor, greet Spider-Man this afternoon at Huxford Elementary School.

Taylor, who has Down Syndrome and a second grader at HES, is turning 8 years old tomorrow. The celebration was not only for his birthday, but to celebrate National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chromosomes are small packages of genes in the body. The chromosomes determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby’s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies with down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21.

Family members of Taylor, along with teachers, administrators and classmates, wore T-shirts with “LEVI-MAN” on the front and “Down Right Perfect” on the back.

“He loves everything Spider-Man,” Tracie Taylor Peoples, Taylor’s grandmother said. “We can’t buy anything without Spider-Man on it.”

As a special surprise, Spider-Man himself paid Taylor a visit. A Spider-Man story was read to the class as well.

Spider-Man and Taylor, along with Principal Leah Fuqua, visited each classroom after storytime and pictures.