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Meet Isa, the Gerber 2022 spokesbaby championing limb differences

GERBER

Gerber

Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/06/22

The 7-month-old from Edmond, Oklahoma, has all the winning ingredients of a Gerber baby -- including a huge smile!

A little girl with huge beautiful eyes has become the spokesbaby for Gerber this year. Isa, who is 7 months old and from Oklahoma, has taken the coveted title of “Chief Growing Officer.” The important position means she will be tasting the company’s products and making sure they’re up to scratch.

However, the gorgeous bundle will also have another important role to play. As the company’s first spokesbaby with limb differences, she’ll also be able to champion those who don’t quite conform to society’s expectations.

As her mom, Meredith Slish, shared with Good Morning America: “She is fun-loving, a joyous little girl. She loves to laugh and giggle. She’s wonderful and we’re so lucky to have her.”

Isa was born with a rare condition called congenital femoral deficiency, which means her leg is incomplete. She also has fibular hemimelia, which affects the fibula bone between the knee and ankle. Those with this condition either have no lower leg bone or just a partial bone at birth.

When the couple discovered that their daughter had the deficiency at their 18-week scan, doctors were unsure of the extent of their daughters condition. However, Isa’s dad John explained:

“They gave us some resources, educated us on that, and we did some of our own research. When she was born, we were met with more medical teams coming through and just discussing options, available ideas that are out there. She currently sees a specialist at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City, and we’re seeking a second opinion on a couple of things. We’re fairly certain we will get the same information from that second opinion that we were receiving, that we already know, but yeah, we’re just taking it in and processing it day by day.”

The couple’s choice in name for their child couldn’t be more fitting as Isa means “salvation of God” or “strong-willed.” And hopefully she’ll develop a strong will so that she can navigate life when it’s not so easy.

The timing of Gerber’s choice of spokesbaby also couldn’t have been better, considering the announcement was made just after Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month in April.

Isa’s mom wanted to enter her daughter into the contest so that she could shine a light on people with limb differences: “When people see the little girl, they’ll look way beyond her limb differences, and focus on that huge smile!” she said. “We hope she can be kind of the baby that other children with limb differences look at and say, ‘There’s somebody like me who is portrayed in books or media.'”

And her dad, John, also shared: “The overarching message for her story is representation matters. It really does and when you learn of things of this nature, about your children or people in your lives, representation truly does matter.”

As the 12th Gerber baby, Isa stood out among the other applications according to Tarun Malkani, Gerber’s president and CEO, as shared by ABC News:

“Isa’s submission brought smiles to all of our faces, and she truly embodies the idea that every baby is a Gerber baby. We could not be more excited to work with Isa and her family throughout this next year to find moments of joy for every Gerber baby.”

While Isa and her family will also be gifted free products and vouchers for the year, the real reward comes in seeing their daughter chosen for such a prestigious role. As mom Meredith shared:

“I think just celebrate your kiddo. That’s what we did. We were really excited that Gerber allowed us to submit a collage because she has such beautiful cheeks and eyelashes. But also we wanted to be able to show all of her, to celebrate everything that she is.”

Tags:
ChildrenDisabilitiesInspiring stories
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