ST. LOUIS - There's a new 2018 Gerber baby and he's already stealing people's hearts.
18th month-old Lucas Warren from Georgia is the first child with down syndrome
to win since the Gerber baby contest started in 2010.
He’s a smiling boy that's full of life just like 6-year-old Cece Abounader who also has down syndrome.
Her mother Michelle says, “I think that's so encouraging. I know when I had my daughter six-plus years ago it was scary and I didn't know what kind of world we would be in and since then there's been so many amazing things where people with this extra chromosome are actually accepted in communities where that wasn't the case only a decade or so ago."
Gerber says they selected Lucas' photo from more than 140,000 entries because it embraces the company's mantra that every baby is a Gerber baby.
Cece's mom Michelle hopes that by picking a childlike Lucas will open up a conversation about down syndrome and show the potential of children and adults with this disorder.
"There's are a lot of situations where people avert their eyes and it's not that they don't want to probably be involved it's just an unknown and fear of the unknown perhaps and everyone is busy so yeah, but otherwise she's very well accepted and sometimes she's like almost so celebrated that we can’t fly under the radar," she confesses.
Lucas is also about to get more time in the limelight. He'll be Gerber's spokes baby on social media and in some of their other advertisements.
"I think this is a huge sign, a neon sign of don't be afraid it's all perfect and it's something to be proud of and that you were chosen. I feel chosen," says Michelle.