Jono Lancaster was abandoned at not even 2 days after he was born, and his parents left him at the hospital all because of the way he looked.
Jono has Treacher Collins Syndrom, a rare congenital disorder that affects only 1 in 50,000 live births. Jono’s TC Syndrome is responsible for his appearance, and he’s felt the bullying and judgement all his life. TCS leaves the cheekbones and jawbone under-developed, as well as drooping lower eyelids, disfigured ears, and a definite chance of mental issues from the person’s self-worth.
Growing up, Jono struggled to make friends because of his appearance, and reduced himself to a troubled child from the bullying and loneliness he felt:
“I was desperate to have friends, I’d do anything. I had no confidence. I’d buy lots of sweets and give them to the other kids so that they’d like me. I set a firework off in class, I got up to no good.. It was quite often alcohol related, I got quite a bad reputation amongst other mums and teachers.”
Jono has grown into himself though, coming to terms with his looks and realizing he can lead a perfectly normal and happy life no matter how he looks. Jono realized it’s all in how he views himself, and has travelled the world helping other younger people with the same syndrome to overcome the hurdles they face growing up.
“As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to be proud of the way I look. I love the way I look and I love being me.”