First Gerber Baby with Down Syndrome Encourages Sioux Falls Organizations
SIOUX FALLS, SD- Gerber has announced its baby of the year. 1-year-old Lucas Warren from Dalton Georgia is the Gerber baby of 2018. He beat out 140,000 entries. He will be featured in their social media posts as well as ads throughout this year. He also received a $50,000 cash prize, which his parents say will be used towards his education.
Lucas has gotten the attention of many with his infectious smile as well as the fact that he’s the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome.
Representatives with the South Dakota Special Olympics are overjoyed with this groundbreaking move.
“Well it’s about time. There’s no reason that it shouldn’t have happened a long time ago, but we’re pleased that it’s happening now,” said Vice President Julie Briggs.
Briggs says Lucas’s accomplishment sends an important message.
“Those with Down syndrome can be and do things that everyone else can.”
Lucas’s story is close to her heart. Briggs has a 23-year- old son named Scottie who has Down syndrome.
“He’s gone to college. He’s had a job. He helps at his church. He does things that everybody else does and that’s how we need to look at people with Down syndrome. It just sometimes takes them a little bit longer to learn and is a little bit harder.”
Over at LifeScape employees work with people who have special needs. Now that Lucas is the face of Gerber, kids and adults with disabilities have an even bigger national platform.
The goal is to promote acceptance.
“This is really for the special needs community a big step towards inclusion and recognizing who we are as people rather than our disability,” said Megan Johnke, Director of Therapy.
They do hope that one day nobody notices that people like Lucas are different and see him for what he is, a cute little baby.