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This Gerber Baby Might Lessen The Stigma Surrounding Down Syndrome

Plenty of people with Down syndrome have been in the spotlight, including Lucas, Gerber's latest "spokesbaby."
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This Gerber Baby Might Lessen The Stigma Surrounding Down Syndrome

A baby with Down syndrome is now the newest Gerber baby. And that's a first for the company's annual contest. Lucas was chosen out of more than 140,000 entries.

People with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21. This can cause children with Down syndrome to develop more slowly. But that doesn't mean every area of their development is affected.

And while it may be the first time a Gerber baby has Down syndrome, Lucas is far from the first person with Down syndrome to be in the spotlight.

Madeline Stuart got widespread attention for her modeling. Chris Burke was the first actor with Down syndrome to be cast on a TV show.

But despite these notable figures and plenty of other celebs, parents and people with Down syndrome sharing messages online, there still seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and even fear of people with Down syndrome.

Remember this father's emotional message about what people get wrong when explaining what Down syndrome is?

"Down syndrome is literally one of the most beautiful things that's ever happened in my life. ... It's not an illness; it's not an illness," Robb Scott said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 1 in 700 babies in the U.S. are born with Down syndrome.