He was abandoned as soon as he was born because he was too "ugly", now he inspires millions of children to accept their appearance
Do you know what Treacher Collins syndrome is? It's a rare condition that affects the development of the bones and tissues of the face from birth, including the eyes, ears, cheekbones and jaw; to onlookers, the faces of those affected by this syndrome which can affect 1 child in 50,000 appear deformed, so much so that they might attrqact negative comments or name calling by less farsighted and intelligent people. However, one thing that this syndrome does not affect is a person's cognitive development, as the protagonist of this story demonstrates.
Jono Lancaster was born in 1985 with Treacher Collins syndrome; the doctors told his biological mother that he would not walk or talk, and so the woman decided to give the baby up for adoption when he was only two days old. Fortunately, Jean, his future adoptive mother, made the decision to take him home with her after two weeks and raise him as her own son.
Today, at the age of 32, Jono is certainly not cured of Treacher Collins syndrome, but he has learned over time to accept his appearance; until the age of 20 he did nothing but shy away from mirrors and had difficulty accepting himself ...
Today Jono has a steady girlfriend he met at the gym, a sculpted physique that would be the envy of anyone, and is a fierce supporter for raising awareness of this rare disease; in fact it is no coincidence that Jono often goes to schools and colleges to share his experience to pupils and students.
Over the years, the young man has come a long way towards acceptancing himself: "I have had to be positive all my life. Everyone looks at me and underestimates me, and I have always had to prove that people were wrong [...] I am proud of who I am and what I have achieved and Treacher Collins syndrome made me who I am today "
Although his face hasn't changed, what Jono has learned over the years has changed his attitude towards life and himself: "I'm still a West Yorkshire guy with the same great family and friends (I'm always been there for me). And despite everything, I still have the same face! "
Jono continues: "Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I believe in myself. Instead of asking myself why, I think it's good to be me. Instead of hating the way I look, I love myself now. Instead of hiding, I choose to show my face to the world and the extraordinary smile and blue eyes that go with it. I'm choosing to live! "
And to all those who need to raise their self-esteem and don't feel accepted, Jono responds like this: "Believe in yourself, be positive and love everything you are and your world will become a better place too!"