Jono Lancaster is flesh and blood just like the rest of us but he’s had to deal with strangers staring at him for his entire life. “I was born with a genetic condition that affects my facial features. I have no cheekbones, and so my eyes dip down. I love my little ears, they don’t get cold at night. But I do need hearing aids. I’m one of the lucky ones. More severely affected individuals need help with feeding and breathing. I met some kids who’ve had more than 70 surgeries to correct problems that would make their lives easier.”
Born in Britain in 1985, Jono was immediately abandoned by his parents because of how he looked. Fortunately a foster mom, Jean, was there for him, providing much needed tender loving care. After five years of unsuccessful attempts to reunite Jono with his birth parents, Jean adopted him. Growing up, Jono faced a lot of bullying from other kids — and from adults who should have known better. After some difficult years, his mom’s supportiveness and his own inner strength won out. “What’s changed is my attitude, and that’s so powerful. Instead of allowing negative energy to bring me down, I believe in myself. I wouldn’t change any of it. My attitude was more disabling than anything. With the right attitude, you can achieve anything.”
Jono has taken this positive attitude and channeled it into work helping others with Treacher Collins syndrome. He counsels people all over the world, especially children, offering them hope and support while also advising their parents. In the video posted below, you’ll meet Jono and just one of the many children he’s served as a mentor for.
Impressed by this young man’s attitude and all the good he’s working hard to do? Let’s hear from you in the comments at Facebook. Be sure to like and share, too!