A new Gerber baby has been picked.
On Wednesday, seven-month-old baby girl Isa Slish was announced on TODAY as the winner of the 2022 Gerber Photo Search.
Isa’s parents, Meredith and John Slish, were surprised on-air and expressed their excitement to TODAY Parents.
“We are completely ecstatic. This was such a big surprise. Whenever you enter your child in a contest like this, the expectation is that someone looks at her picture, so this is incredible and we are so happy,” Meredith Slish said.
Babies who entered into the contest had to be between 0 and 4 years old “and have a playful smile that can light up the room,” according to a Gerber press release.
Not only will Isa be winning a $25,000 cash prize, but Gerber is also going to give a matching donation to March of Dimes’ maternal and infant health programs, where they “use research, advocacy, and education to give every baby the best possible start.”
“I think it’s amazing to know that the additional resource is going to be provided to babies and mothers. I wouldn’t have asked for anything else other than that. There’s so much need,” John Slish told TODAY Parents.
Isa was born with Congenital Femoral Deficiency and Fibular Hemimelia, which is “a condition where the fibula (the smaller of the two shin bones) is short or absent, and the tibia is short as well. One in 40,000-100,000 children is born with congenital femoral deficiency,” according to the International Center for Limb Lengthening.
Isa’s parents are using this win to advocate on her behalf.
“Before she was born in September of 2021, we knew Isa was special, and she has shown us that every day since she came into our lives. While the world around us seeks to embrace individuality and uniqueness, we hope that awareness for limb differences will lead to greater inclusion for children like Isa,” Meredith said.
Meredith and John Slish found out that their daughter would be born without a femur or fibula in her right leg at 18 weeks, according to TODAY.
However, Meredith Slish knows this will not hold her little girl back.
“Isa is a strong, amazing little girl that loves to interact with the world around her and nothing will stop her. Her smile lights up the room and her laughter is irresistible,” she said.
As the new Gerber “spokesbaby” and “chief growing officer” Isa will be featured on Gerber’s social media and marketing campaigns throughout the year and will be given Gerber products “to ensure baby has the best possible start in life.” She will also receive “additional surprise perks” that “will be announced in the near future,” according to their press release.
“One of the things that has been so special for us, is that she was chosen for her wonderful personality, her smile, her cheeks, her giggles, but also as a baby who represents diversity. We are so happy that she can hopefully bring awareness to children born with limb differences and that is really special for us,” Meredith shared.