February 7, 2018 3:14 pm

1-year-old boy just became Gerber’s first ‘spokesbaby’ with Down syndrome

Lucas Warren was chosen as Gerber's 2018 baby. He's the first baby with Down syndrome to be chosen.

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Say hello to baby Lucas Warren.

The one-year-old from Georgia just became Gerber’s first spokesbaby with Down syndrome, according to Today.

Warren, who won the company’s photo contest to become the 2018 Gerber baby, came up on top after more than 140,000 entries.

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“Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” Bill Partyka, CEO and president of Gerber told Today. “This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”

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“We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited,” dad Jason Warren told Today. “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”

Mother Cortney Warren said she saw an ad from Gerber about the contest and entered on a “whim.” After using the hashtag on Instagram, the family was told their baby boy would be named 2018’s Gerber Spokesbaby.

“He may have Down syndrome, but he’s always Lucas first,” Cortney said. “He’s got an awesome personality and he goes through the milestones of every child … we’re hoping when he grows up and looks back on this, he’ll be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability.”

Social media users react

On Gerber’s Instagram page, hundreds of users celebrated the news.

“This is such a breakthrough — and gives us all the chance to appreciate ALL babies — whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, strengths or challenges,” user mhchisholm78 wrote.

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“Not only does he represents diversity and inclusion but he is simply ADORABLE,” user lisa_isabelle wrote.

“So completely adorable. We have a granddaughter with DS and not a day goes by that we aren’t grateful for her and her spunky and cute self. I applaud you Gerber,” user mamadough3 wrote.

Past winners

Last year, Gerber announced seven-month-old Riley as their spokesbaby of 2017. The little boy from Ohio became an internet star, while his parents were given a $50,000 cash prize, People reports.

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And in 2017, the original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook, turned 91 years old.

arti.patel@globalnews.ca

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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