Lucas (Gerber Baby 2018)

The Story of Lucas Warren

It all began in December of 2015 when we found out that we were going to be parents. With any first pregnancy, there was plenty of excitement and joy with such great news. The pregnancy went by without any hitch. Like many of you, we had the triple screen and full anatomy scan. Neither one of these tests showed any signs of soft markers. 
Fast forward several months and Lucas decided he was going to make his debut 5 weeks early.  We were not prepared at all. We didn’t have his nursery finished, barely had a named picked out, and didn’t even have a go bag ready. A few hours after Lucas was born it was brought to our attention that he might have Down Syndrome. At the same time, we were told that he had a VSD, ASD, PFO, and was being sent to the NICU because of pulmonary hypertension. He spent a week in the NICU. That was the longest week in our lives. It wasn’t the fact that our child was in the NICU and not going home with us, but also it was a time where we had to learn and grow very quickly. We didn’t know how to be parents. We had to educate ourselves on all the medical terminology and exactly what Down Syndrome was. It was there in the NICU that we received the single greatest piece of advice. Our nurse said, “Raise him like you would a typical child and he will bless your heart tremendously.” Ever since then, those are the words we have lived by. Even with everything he has gone through and everything that is supposed to limit him, he has pushed forward and continues to surprise us every day.  
Most of you will know Lucas by the world fame that he has received after being named the 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby. Never in a million years did we realize on how big this was. For the first time in history, a baby with any special needs was officially the most beautiful baby in the United States. It sparked a great movement across the globe on acceptance and inclusion. With every picture that was posted to social media, it opened the door that much more. 
Soon after the announcement we began to receive words of encouragement and the stories of other children.  You could actually see the affect it was having on everyone. The best thing that we believe has come from this experience is the fact that everyone is seeing that beauty is not defined by certain criteria.

-Jason Warren