Down Syndrome affects approximately 6,000 babies at birth each year, and is a disorder that occurs when there is a duplication of the twenty-first (21) chromosome. World Down Syndrome Day was created as an event to raise public awareness, encourage advocacy, promote inclusivity, and support the wellbeing of those living with Down Syndrome. The date, March 21 is a date chosen to represent the chromosomal defection found in Down Syndrome (the 21 day of the third month.
The 2018 Gerber baby is Lucas Warren, the first child with Down syndrome to receive the honor of, essentially, America’s cutest baby. The 18-month-old from Dalton, Ga., was selected as “2018 Gerber Spokesbaby” from more than 140,000 photos submitted by parents.
“He’s very outgoing and never meets a stranger,” Lucas’s mom, Cortney, told TODAY Parents. “He loves to play, loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh.”