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Meet Lucas, the First Gerber Baby With Down Syndrome

Meet Lucas, the First Gerber Baby With Down Syndrome

Lucas' parents hope this big win will raise awareness for the special needs community.

Baby Lucas Warren, a one-year-old from Dalton, Georgia, just won the 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby contest. Lucas is the first-ever child with Down syndrome to be named the Gerber baby of the year.

“He’s very outgoing and never meets a stranger,” Lucas’ mom Cortney Warren told TODAY Parents. “He loves to play, loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh.”

For the last eight years, baby-food giant Gerber has held a photo contest searching for a smiley child to act as the brand’s Spokesbaby. Lucas was selected from over 140,000 entries from around the country because of his adorable laugh and glowing personality.

“Lucas’ winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokesbaby,” said Gerber President and CEO Bill Partyka in the company’s official press release. “Every year, we choose the baby who exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, Lucas is the perfect fit,” he added.

Lucas’ family will receive $50,000 and his sweet face will adorn Gerber’s social media channels all year long.

What Lucas’ win means for the special needs community
Down syndrome is the most common type of chromosomal disorder among babies, and each year approximately 6,000 infants are born with the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals with Down syndrome have a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21, out of the 23 total pairs of chromosomes that most other babies have. The extra genetic material raises the risk of Down syndrome, which affects development and leads to weak muscle tone, small physique, an upward slant to the eyes and a crease across the center of the palm.

Lucas’ parents hope this news can raise awareness for Down syndrome and the special needs community as a whole. “Individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world—just like our Lucas,” said Lucas' mom Cortney.

Want to help raise awareness?
March 21 is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, a day that encourages spreading the word about Down syndrome—sharing stories, helping out in the community and educating others about the condition.You can also visit the National Down Syndrome Society to learn about other opportunities in your area. You'll also find resources for those parents or children living with Down syndrome and you'll be able to connect with other parents and Down syndrome advocates.

Photo credit: Cortney Warren and Gerber 

Medically reviewed in February 2018.

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