Parents Abandoned Newborn Son for His ‘Disfigured Face,’ but Look at Him 34 Years Later

By Daksha Devnani, Epoch Times
May 15, 2019 Updated: May 22, 2019

Childhood years are supposed to be the magical years, but  let us suppose your parents reject you  at birth because they think you are “too ugly” to be a part of their lives. You would feel sad, wouldn’t you? This is a true life story of someone who was rejected at birth but stayed positive.

Jono Lancaster, now in his mid-30s, has Treacher Collins syndrome—a genetic disorder that affects the facial bones’ development while in the mother’s womb. There are no cheekbones, so the eyes droop down. Apart from having hearing and eating issues, Treacher Collins syndrome sufferers exhibit normal intelligence and develop normally.

Jono was abandoned by his parents 36 hours after his birth. He was left at the Social Welfare. Then a wonderful woman named Jean Lancaster adopted Jono and raised him.

Jono, as a little boy, full of smiles

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Bài viết do Jono Lancaster (@jonolanc) chia sẻ vào

When Jono was at school-going age, he started to become aware of himself, that he looked different from his classmates. He said they would run away and pull faces at him saying they did not want to catch his “disease.”

“I used to hide how unhappy I was from my mom. She had already done so much for me,” he told the BBC in an interview.

When Jono was a teenager, he really became very rebellious, not because he was a bad person, but because of his pain. He would do things to attract attention and that would deter people from the real problem: his physical features. He used to bribe people with sweets so they would like him. He used to drink a lot.

“I was feeling so alone.”

From a 'teenager' Jono with his very own dodgey wonkey bowl cut (Yes I cut that bad boy myself, with the kitchen…

Gepostet von Jono Lancaster am Montag, 24. Dezember 2018

“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.”

Then came the turning point; when Jono was 19, the manager of a bar that Jono often visited took interest in him and offered him a job. Jono said that he was so anxious before a shift he would be dripping with sweat.

“I was so nervous and scared about people’s reactions. Drunk people can be so horrible, so obvious,” he said. “It wasn’t easy, but at the same time I met so many nice people who were genuinely interested in me and my face.”

In the meantime, he completed a diploma in sports science and a fitness instructors course. Jono found a job in a gym, and the people there took an instant liking to him. He said that it was a challenge to him, as gyms have wall-to-wall mirrors.

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Bài viết do Jono Lancaster (@jonolanc) chia sẻ vào

Jono now works as a team leader for adults with autism. He believes everything has a reason. Mr. Lancaster is devoted to bringing awareness to the public about Treacher Collins syndrome and how to deal with it.

Although his biological parents still refuse to acknowledge him as their son, and it still hurts him, Jono has learned to accept it. He still faces many social challenges, but he is learning that by having a compassionate heart, one can change people’s minds. He was resentful when he was younger, but now he has found himself.

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Bài viết do Jono Lancaster (@jonolanc) chia sẻ vào

Doctors always ask him if he would like to have some more constructive surgeries, but he has declined them gracefully, saying that God made him this way, and that he is proud of who he is.

Jono Lancaster, prince of hope, is actively involved in projects bringing light to Treacher Collins syndrome and Adult Autism all over the world.

The Love Me, Love My Face foundation is something Jono began in order to inspire, support, and educate others about TCS and Craniofacial Conditions, supporting families & educating individuals and the public.

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Bài viết do Jono Lancaster (@jonolanc) chia sẻ vào

Jono currently works as an inspirational teacher, talking about Treacher Collins syndrome. “My parents still want nothing to do with me,” he says. “What’s changed is my attitude, and that’s what’s so powerful. […] I wouldn’t change any of it. My attitude was more disabling than anything. With the right attitude, you can achieve anything.”

On May 14, Jono took to Instagram a picture of a baby-blue-striped sweater along with a heartfelt note that read: “My birth parents had left the hospital and they never came back, these clothes are the only things that stayed with me….”

Indeed, Jono Lancaster is an inspiration to many; he has not let his external appearance dim his inner light.

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Bài viết do Jono Lancaster (@jonolanc) chia sẻ vào