The 2018 Gerber Baby Makes History as First With Down Syndrome

Lucas Warren is the first baby with Down syndrome to win the Gerber Baby title, ever

Gerber’s 2018 spokesbaby was announced today, and he’s already making history. One-year-old Lucas Warren of Dalton, Georgia, was announced as Gerber’s spokesbaby of the year after winning the brand’s eighth annual Gerber Baby Photo Search.

The blond-haired baby with a sunny smile took the title over 140,000 applicants. He is the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome to win in the contest’s history.

Gerber’s President and CEO Bill Partyka attributed Lucas’ “winning smile and joyful expression” as to what stole the judges’ hearts. “Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s long-standing heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, Lucas is the perfect fit,” he said in a press release.

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The tiny grand prize winner’s family will receive $50,000, and he will be featured on Gerber’s social media channels throughout the year. Lucas’ parents told the brand that they feel proud that their son can spread joy, “not only to those he interacts with every day, but to people all over the country,” said his mother, Cortney Warren. “We hope this opportunity sheds light on the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world – just like our Lucas!”

Lucas’ win is already spreading joy to the Down syndrome community. Heather Avis, an author, speaker, popular Instagrammer, and mother of children with Down syndrome, told The Daily Meal:

“Gerber choosing a child with Down syndrome to represent their brand for 2018 is an epic win for the Down syndrome community. I honestly believe we are in a history-making, narrative-shifting, bar-raising time. I am convinced the day will come when a mom getting a new diagnosis feels the need to high-five her doctor rather than cry in despair.

“It may not happen in my lifetime, but I believe we will look back on this time in history as a time when ‘Down syndrome’ stopped being a bad word. So many of us are working tirelessly to shout the worth of our kiddos. Take heart, weary moms and dads, do not grow weary in doing the right thing, the world is beginning to hear us!”

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