It is unfathomable to imagine parents abandoning their children for any given reason. But for Jono Lancaster, that is an unfortunate truth he has to face for the rest of his life. He developed a genetic facial disorder which affected the development of his cheekbones while was still in the womb of his mother. Because he has no cheekbones, his eyes drooped down, giving him a somewhat deformed look.

His parents abandoned him

His parents were clearly abhorred by his appearance and wanted nothing to do with the baby. It took them only 36 hours to arrive at the decision of abandoning him to complete strangers, leaving him at the Social Welfare.

A kind woman adopted the little boy

While everything looked distant and gloomy for the little baby, a kind hearted woman adopted Jono -she saw see though the superfluous definition of ‘beauty’. Jean Lancaster raised the boy as if he was her very own, despite his deformities

He became aware of his condition

As Jono entered into the adolescent phase of his life, he started becoming all too aware of his medical condition. A quick comparison with other children showed that he was ‘different’ and didn’t meet the definition of what is considered ‘normal’.

Jono was bullied and harassed

Nothing surprising here. Our education system is not really kind with children who are slightly different than what is considered normal by society. Throughout his childhood, Jono was constantly harassed and bullied by his peers, making him feel like a freak.

 

His teenage years were depressing

It is obvious the psychological toll it took on the poor boy. He was constantly in a state of anxiety and depression. But throughout his life, he never complained or bickered with his mother. “I used to hide how unhappy I was from my mum.”

Jono would bribe his friends

He was so desperate to make friends and become socially acceptable, that he would buy sweets and other treats for his friends on a regular basis. All of this just to ‘buy’ their friendship. But can one really buy friends?

The turning point in his life

The manager of a bar which Jono often visited took keen interest in the young man. At 19, Jono was offered his first job. The kid was so anxious to please his new boss that he would perspire whenever it was time for his shift to start.

He met many people in his new job

As is obvious with any job in a bar, one gets to meet many new people. And Jono had his share of good experiences and bad. Some people were genuinely nice to him and didn’t mind his slightly different face, while others showed genuine disgust.

Jono gained new skills

Jono realized that the sky is his limit when it came to job prospects, and even gained a diploma in sports science and also did a course for fitness instructors. It was clear where his real calling lied – as a gym instructor. It was a little challenging at first because there were wall to wall mirrors.

He got a new job in a gym

Jono knew his passions were in the gym. He got a new job, gained new friends and even found the love of his life, a very beautiful woman called Laura. Through all the problems in his life, Jono managed to win it all.

The couple got a new house

Jono and Laura chipped in what they had and purchased a house together in Normanton, West Yorkshire. Jono even found more activity as a team leader for adults with autism. He now dedicates his free time to bring awareness about Treachers Collins Syndrome.

He got to meet kids with similar conditions

In this picture, he is seen posing with a beautiful little girl called Mariah. Jono provides consultation to children who have a condition similar to his. The young man even has a gig as an inspirational teacher, and often gives talks about Treacher Collins Syndrome.

His parents still wouldn’t accept him

Jono’s parents still show their arrogance and shallowness by continuing to ignore their own biological son – despite his numerous achievements and accolades. Ignorance runs deep in their veins it seems. They’re standing on the wrong side of history here.
Jono is an inspiration to us all
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