Each child is unique in its own way, but there are really special children. Sometimes what makes a child special dictates the alignment of his entire future life. Jono Lancaster, a 35-year-old Englishman, is quite a successful young man: he has a job that he likes and provides for him, there is a beautiful girl he loves. This man was born a real winner, because despite a serious illness, he managed to achieve much more in life than many healthy people.
His own mother abandoned Jono in the hospital, almost immediately after his birth. And all because he had a rare genetic disease called “Treacher-Collins syndrome”. Treacher-Collins syndrome leads to the fact that even at the stage of formation, the facial bones stop developing in the fetus. As a result, people with this disease have hearing disorders due to deformation of the external auditory canal, and due to the absence of some bones around the eye sockets, the corners of the eyes are very much lowered down.
And although the disease does not affect the mental development of a person in any way, a disfigured face leaves almost no chance to live a full life. Jono was lucky – he didn’t have to remain a rejected child. The boy was brought up by a childless Lancaster family, who raised him in love and care, like a native son. From early childhood, Jono suffered a lot because of his appearance, because the children did not want to be friends with him and scoffed in every possible way.
Now the guy remembers it like that: “I wanted to have friends so much that I bought kilograms of sweets and distributed them to everyone – I thought it would help. But many of them just ran away from me because they were afraid of getting infected, and many stared. At first, I constantly asked my mother why other children do this, and she just started crying. And because of her tears, I felt very uncomfortable, because it seemed to me that it was my fault that she was crying.”
Jono also talks about his other feelings that he had to go through: “When I was a child and a teenager, I repeatedly had anger at my biological parents. I really wanted to meet them at least once and ask only one thing: why did they refuse me? And when I grew up, I realized that they couldn’t look at my face. Although I would still like to see them now.” Despite all the difficulties, Lancaster does not hold grudges against the whole world. He has a kind, cheerful and sociable character.
Because of his appearance, it was not easy for Jono to get a good job, but one day in an institution where he often came for a cup of coffee or a glass of beer, he was offered to replace one of the employees for a while. And then the owner of the bar noticed that many visitors come just to chat with a cheerful young man of unusual appearance. It was there, at his workplace, that Jono met the love of his life – the beautiful Laura.
The guy turned out to be so charming that the girl could not resist. And Lancaster successfully graduated from college, receiving a diploma in physical education. The world of sports has become not just his vocation, but also a kind of salvation. The young man was well aware that his face would never become as attractive as other people’s, but his body could become much better than many. And he began to work hard on himself, regularly going to the gym.
Several years of training gave such a good result that Jono was offered a job as a fitness trainer. Professionalism, good–natured attitude to people and ease of communication – all this helped Lancaster quickly become in demand not only in his club, but also outside it. Now Jono Lancaster has found another occupation for himself: he works as a motivator with those who, like him, have Treacher-Collins syndrome.
He visits different countries of the world and communicates with special children, trying to show by his own example that a person with absolutely any face can fully live and be happy. Jono and his friends also founded the love.myface foundation, which aims to raise awareness about Treacher-Collins syndrome and help families with special children. In general, now Jono Lancaster is quite a successful person who managed to find himself in this life.
It took him a little more than 20 years to not just get used to his appearance, but also to fall in love with it. The story of this man can serve as an inspiring example for many. It clearly demonstrates that even if everything is very bad now, it does not mean that it will always be like this. But we need to work on ourselves – then any difficulties will remain in the past.