The Washington Times-Herald

February 4, 2014

A special night at Barr-Reeve

By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — MONTGOMERY — Wearing a bright pink ballgown and escorted by senior basketball player Jon McMullen, Taylor Davis made her way out onto Kavanaugh Kourt Saturday night.

She was the first of five homecoming candidates to take her spot on the floor followed by Jenna Knepp, Allison Hoover, Kayla Lengacher, and Hania Sisco. Taylor, the daughter of Jason and Michelle Davis, was also the candidate who took home the crown and received a standing ovation in front of a nearly full house.

But Davis’ road to becoming a homecoming queen was much different than most who reach that pinnacle.

Taylor and her twin brother, Tyler, were born very premature.

“When Taylor was born, she weighed 1 pound, 11 ounces,” said her mother Michelle Davis as another well-wisher came in for a hug. “The doctors told us to not have hope that she’d survive, let alone walk.”

She was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a condition that affects muscle tone and movement.

But Taylor did walk. In fact, Saturday she walked arm-in-arm with McMullen instead of with her cane, a move that had her mother a bit on edge.

“I was pretty nervous about her walking without it, but Jon assured me he would help her,” said Michelle. “Taylor wasn’t nervous at all.”

Taylor’s trek to becoming homecoming queen started in December when she was nominated.

“I was surprised,” said Taylor. “I didn’t realized they (the members of the senior class) liked me so much.”

Michelle was in shock too. “The school actually called me and asked if I had a few minutes to come in,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I kept thinking that maybe something had happened.”

When she arrived at Barr-Reeve, Taylor told her mother than she had been nominated for queen. “She had to tell me several times. I kept asking her what she said,” Michelle said.

Through the whole preparation for homecoming, Taylor stayed calm. “She wasn’t ever nervous,” said Michelle. “But I was. Taylor kept telling me, ‘Oh, Mom don’t be nervous.’ She was just happy to be on the court.”

So when her name was called, Taylor was still calm and collected. “I don’t think it’s sunk in quite yet,” said Michelle, adjusting Taylor’s sash.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” Taylor said, sitting in the area designated for members of the homecoming court. “I don’t really know what to expect.”

For the other members of the court, the evening was about honoring their classmate.

“We all wanted Taylor to win,” said Lengacher, a member of the basketball team. “This is so special because she has had to work so much harder than the rest of us.”

Since Taylor started school, her classmates have always included her in everything. And, while Taylor isn’t able to participate in sports like many of her classmates, she is involved with the Special Forces softball team and she participates in several clubs at school.

“This is really special for her,” said Sisco. “The way everyone in the gym cheered for Taylor and was so happy for her shows how good of a community we live in. Taylor is beautiful inside and out.”

“We were just happy to be nominated,” said Knepp, looking over at Taylor and a group of people who gathered to wish her well.

“This means more to her than it would ever mean to us,” said Hoover. “She hasn’t been able to do some of the things the rest of us have, but this will definitely be memorable for her.”