Jono Lancaster was only 36 hours old when his biological parents decided that they did not want to keep him, so they immediately gave him up for adoption. Unfortunately, this young man was born with a rare genetic disorder known as Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS). Because of this, his mother could not feel any affection for him, when she first set her eyes on him, she could not get past his condition. She was greatly horrified by his appearance and even stated that she did not experience a natural bond with her newborn baby.
This condition (TCS) affects the way facial bones form in the womb, so it deeply impacted Jono’s appearance because his cheekbones did not develop, which caused his eyes to droop. It also impacted his hearing, and doctors told Jono’s parents that he would probably never walk or talk.
1. Left both motherless and fatherless within the first few hours of his life, Jono’s future was in jeopardy. Thankfully, a woman named Jean was able to look past the baby’s appearance and decided to take him under her care. This kind and generous lady fostered him when he was just two weeks old.
2. “Yes, his face did look different, but it didn’t put me off wanting to look after him,” she said.
3. When little Jono turned 5, Jean decided to make their bond official by adopting him.
4. Fast forward over 20 years later and Jono is now a successful young man who has an important message to share with the world.
5. Jono overcame all his trials and tribulations that he faced too early in life by believing in himself and staying positive. Growing up, he knew this was the only way he would be able to enjoy the world around him.
6. He said, “I’ve had to be positive throughout my whole entire life. Everybody just looks at me and underestimates me, and I’ve always had to prove people wrong.”
7. “Over the years, I have learned how to act positively. It kind of comes naturally to me now,” he added.
8. Jono loves to work out at the gym. It’s a safe haven that allows him to release pent up energy. This gives him the strength and motivation he needs to keep improving the things he can control.
9. When he was asked if he’s ever considered facial reconstruction surgery, Jono makes it clear that it’s not something he would wish or even think of doing, he loves his body just the way it is.
10. He said, “[It’s] not me. God made me like this and I was born like this for a reason.”
11. When he was 25, Jono decides it was time to connect with his biological parents, so he tried his luck.
12. Luckily, the adoption agency had access to their information and was able to send a letter to them outlining their son’s desire to meet.
13. However, shortly after the letter was sent, the agency told Jono that his mother and father did not want to meet him and that they did not want him to try and get in touch with them in the future.
14. This was heartbreaking, he was deeply hurt but instead of allowing it to completely consume him, he decided to channel the hurt as even more motivation to be his best self.
15. Despite all he’s been through, Jono doesn’t harbor any bad feelings towards his biological parents and doesn’t want others to judge them based on the decisions they have made.
16. He said, “No one knows what they went through when I was born, they did what they thought was best for them and myself. By those decisions, I was put on this road to where I am now with amazing people around me.”
17. He also said, “They brought me into this world and I have no negative feelings towards them. Carrying anger and hate does you no good whatsoever.”
18. Over the years, Jono has garnered a large social media following and receives messages every day from people who look up to him as an inspiration and who have been personally touched by TCS.
19. Jono is grateful that his choices and words have helped others makes him feel good.
20. He now spends his time traveling around the world, meeting individuals with TCS and educating children about the importance of acceptance and being kind to one another.
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