Bill Partyka, CEO and president of Gerber, says Lucas’s smile and happy expression captured the hearts of the Gerber team.
“Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” said Partyka. “This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”
“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 said. “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”
Katie Driscoll is founder and president of Changing the Face of Beauty, a non-profit organization committed to advocating for equal representation of people with disabilities in adverting and media. Driscoll says brands like Gerber have the power to change the future of the disability community by valuing the minority as a consumer in their advertising.
“We believe if brands represent children with a disability, they are communicating their value to our society,” said Driscoll. “Moves like this move us closer to a more inclusive world.”
Cortney says she hopes her son will be seen not only as a baby with Down syndrome, but also as a funny, energetic child who loves music and socializing.
“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.”
“He may have Down syndrome,” said Cortney Warren of her son, “but he’s always Lucas first.”
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