33 years ago, a baby was abandoned because of his face – today he is an inspirational teacher
Abandoned at birth and bullied due to his appearance, Jono has turned his life around to help people like him around the world.
Jono Lancaster was abandoned by his birth parents due to a genetic defect just 36 hours after he was born. They left him at a social welfare center, as reported by NTD.
Lancaster suffers from a genetic disorder called Treacher Collins Syndrome which alters the fetal bone development in the mother’s womb, leading to an absence of Cheekbones.
This disorder causes the eyes to droop. Apart from minor issues with hearing, this syndrome does not affect the brain development in any way.
Although Lancaster was adopted while still quite young, his facial deformities did affect him as a young child. Other kids were wary of his appearance and kept their distance
Being grateful to his adoptive mother for his life, he did not wish to burden her further and kept his unhappiness to himself.
However, this had a negative effect on his life, as he started drinking at an early age, and resorted to bribing other kids to hang out with him.
At 19, Lancaster was offered a job bartending at one of his regular hangouts. This was a defining moment in his life, as it gave him more confidence to be around people.
Along with the bartending job, Lancaster pursued his education and completed a fitness instructor’s course. Using this course, Lancaster took on the next challenge in life, by joining a gym as an instructor.
With wall to wall mirrors making him conscious of his face at every point of time, Lancaster was again challenged. It was at this job that he found his life partner, Laura.
Lancaster now works actively towards spreading awareness for Treacher Collins syndrome. His Facebook profile enlists his work and the people he has affected all over the world.
Though the fact that his biological parents still do not accept him affects him deeply, he has maintained that he can face any challenge the world throws at him, with the right attitude.
He has declined multiple requests by doctors for facial reconstructive surgery and hopes to help as many people in the world like him as possible.
Read more about Jono Lancaster on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.