At first read you might think that Gerber Baby Food was doing something groundbreaking by finally recognizing Down Syndrome by making their 2018 "Spokes-baby" and actual child that has Down Syndrome.
"Baby food maker Gerber has announced the winner of their nationwide search for the next Gerber baby and the special tot is making history. The new 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby is one-year-old Lucas Warren from Dalton, Georgia, and he is the first winner in the eight-years of the Gerber contest to have Down Syndrome.
"Lucas' winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are all thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokes-baby," says Gerber President and CEO Bill Partyka. "Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber's longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, Lucas is the perfect fit."
Little Lucas was chosen from over 140,000 entries, and as winner his family will get $50,000, and he will appear on Gerber’s social media channels all year.
"This is such a proud moment for us as parents knowing that Lucas has a platform to spread joy, not only to those he interacts with every day, but to people all over the country," Lucas' mom, Cortney Warren shares. "We hope this opportunity sheds light on the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world – just like our Lucas!"
But...that's really not the case at all... you see, Gerber's sister company, Gerber Life, denies children with Down Syndrome from insurance coverage.
Gerber Life has said they review applications on a "case by case" basis however several parents claim the company either denied coverage or told them to reapply when their child was older.
So the Gerber Baby Food campaign celebrating children with Down Syndrome is nothing more than a facade it seems. If Gerber Life had any real interest in raising awareness and recognizing these children and families they would immediately change their policies and cover every single child with Down Syndrome no questions asked.