WACO, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Luke Gaines marches to the beat of his own drum. His parents say he's 'rocking the extra chromosome'.
"He is full of energy, all the time," said Lacie Gaines, Luke's mother.
"He's hard-working, he's determined, he likes to play," said Nathan, Luke's father. "He's just got the most gentle spirit you could ever wish for."
At 21 months old, Luke is determined to walk and learn new words, all while caring for his little sister, Lilah.
"He's worked so hard," said Lacie. "He's showed me that he has just as much grit as somebody who doesn't have Down syndrome."
Lacie and Nathan found out their son had Down syndrome the day he was born.
"It took some time to mourn the loss that I had for him and to have new hopes and dreams for him," said Nathan.
More than anything, Luke's parents want him to feel loved and accepted. A decision made by Gerber this week is giving them even more hope for the future.
"I think it's a good exposure to mainstream America to spread awareness and hopefully help them be more included," Nathan said.
On Wednesday, Gerber achieved a first when it announced the winner of its 2018 Gerber Baby Contest.
Lucas Warren, a 1-year-old from Georgia, is the first contest winner with Down syndrome. The famed contest has been around since 1928.
Warren is now representing a community that often feels overlooked.
"I think that seeing people that are like him, on a national platform, will just make it easier for him to succeed," Lacie said.
This contest just further proof that their son has the ability to move mountains and break barriers.
"We want whatever life that he wants," said Nathan. "We just hope that there's an opportunity there to give him that."
If you're lucky enough to meet Luke while he's out and about, his parents urge you to say hello.
Lacie said Luke is known for giving big waves and huge smiles with everyone he meets.