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Rotolo Middle School student brings awareness to Down syndrome

BATAVIA – Rotolo Middle School students weren’t just acting silly when they wore brightly colored mismatched socks to school Thursday.

Sixth-grade student Katie Michel asked her friends via text message and Instagram to wear “brightly colored crazy” mismatched socks to bring awareness to World Down Syndrome Day.

World Down Syndrome Day is March 21 to symbolize a third copy of the 21st chromosome in people with Down syndrome.

“When someone asks you why, you can say for Down syndrome,” Katie said in her message.

Her mother’s best friend, Tammy Moratti, had a baby, Giada, in November that was born with Down syndrome. Giada also was born with two holes in her heart and had to have two heart surgeries in December.

“I wanted to show awareness for Down syndrome and show support for my mother’s friend,” Katie said. “It made me feel good to spread the word.”

Katie was overwhelmed that 200 of her friends wanted to participate.

“I was happy that so many friends wanted to do it,” Katie said.

Her mother, Karen Michel, was proud of her daughter’s efforts.

“It was something she did on her own,” Michel said. “She was excited to do something.”

Moratti also was impressed with what Katie did.

“I’m still so shocked at all the people she got doing it,” she said. “It was something extremely nice for her to do.”

Giada is doing well, Moratti said.

“She is eating well and growing,” she said.

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