They say a parent’s love comes naturally. From the moment a child is conceived, parents already grow a special bond with their kid and supposedly, their relationship should be deepened further once they see their child after delivery.
But apparently, not all parents are equal and not all parents can give a love that’s so unconditional to their children. It is even more unimaginable for a parent to let go of his child only because of his physical appearance.
Jono Lancaster is one of those few people in the world who suffer from Treacher Collin Syndrome.
This is the sad case that came upon Jono Lancaster. Now 33 years old, Jono was born with Treacher Collins syndrome which is a genetic disorder that affects the facial bones development while in the mother’s womb. The man then had no cheekbones, so his eyes were drooping down when he was born.
His parents could not accept his deformity so they left him once he was born.
For his unusual appearance, Jono was abandoned by his parents only 36 hours after his birth. He was then left at the Social Welfare until Jean Lancaster adopted and raised him like her own.
Fortunately, a woman came to adopt him and tried to raise him in love.
Although he found some love in the form of her adoptive mother, growing up still never went easy for Jono. When he was already attending school, he grew aware of his condition; that he looks different than anyone else in his class. Kids at school were unaware of his condition so they would reportedly run away from him while saying they don’t want to catch his “disease.”
Jono grew up unaware of his condition, but once he stepped to school, he realized the things he have to endure because of his looks.
These kinds of incidents made Jono depressed, most especially that he hid his unhappy feelings from his mother. His pain had led Jono to grow as a rebellious teenager. He said that he would do things to attract attention and to deter people from noticing his physical features. He also revealed that he used to bribe people with sweets just so they will like him. He said:
“I was feeling so alone…I was desperate to have friends, I’d do anything. I had no confidence. I’d buy sweets and give them to the other kids so that they’d like me.”
Jono’s pains pushed him to become a rebel, but he found his way back to the right path when he started working.
But it hasn’t always been cloudy for Jono. The turning point of his life finally came when he was 19. A manager of the bar that he often visited then took interest in him and hired him as his employee. Although he was anxious, he took the job and revealed:
“I was so nervous and scared about people’s reactions. Drunk people can be so horrible, so obvious…It wasn’t easy, but at the same time I met so many nice people who were genuinely interested in me and my face.”
Jono is now a known inspiration teacher.
He helps people with Treacher Collins to find acceptance in the society.
He uses his experience to spark strength among people with the same condition as his.
And he is putting efforts to let normal people know the truth about their physical appearance.
His life kept getting better when he completed a diploma in sports science and a fitness instructors course. He then took a job in a gym and the people there instantly liked him. However, working at the gym had been a big challenge to Jono as the gym was full of wall to wall mirrors.
Then came the love that he will love for the rest of his life. He met a beautiful woman named Laura and found comfort in her company. Now they are inseparable.
The couple already bought a house together in Normanton, West Yorkshire. Jono now works as a team leader for adults with autism and is devoted to bringing awareness to the public about Treacher Collins Syndrome.
Jono tried to pursue his parents, but they still refused to acknowledge him as their son. While it remains to be painful for Jono to be unaccepted by the parents who brought him to this world, he said that he has already learned to accept it.
Jono still faces many social challenges, but his compassionate heart is what’s making him able to change people’s minds about him. He said he already let go of his grudges as a child and now he finally found himself.
Doctors offer to do constructive surgeries on Jono, but he declined. He said God made him that way and that he is proud of who he is.
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