According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Treacher Collins syndrome is a genetic disorder affecting 1 in every 50,000 people. The way it changes the body is by changing how bone and tissues of the face develop. It generally affects cheekbones, jaws, and chins. This syndrome results in facial abnormalities in people who get it. The thing it does not affect is a child’s intelligence. If the child gets bullied, he or she is perfectly aware of what is going on.
Jono Lancaster is without a doubt the most famous person with Treacher Collins syndrome. His picture went viral once it got on the Internet. During the 2015 NORD Breakthrough Summit, Jono explained, “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.”
He has attracted many people to his social media accounts. He boasts 12.4k Twitter followers, 61.2k Instagram followers, and 84.4k followers on Facebook. Not everything in his life is sugar coated. His life has always been very challenging as well. He was given up by his biological parents thirty-six hours after he was born. The reason they did this is because of how he looked. He was invited to the 2015 Nord Conference, where he explained:
“When I was born, [my birth parents] were in total shock. I was out of the hospital 36 hours after I was born. Social services found someone to look after me. They found a wonderful lady called Jean.” She tried to reconnect Jono with his biological parents. She sent them a bunch of letters, but none of them were answered. She adopted Jono and made it official on May 18th, 1990.
He had found a very caring mother. Despite this, his life was not as easy as he would have wanted. When he was interviewed by Adelaide Now he said: “I kind of felt like I was on my own, and I felt like I was the only one out in the world that was like me. People are lucky enough to win the lottery or they become professional footballers, doctors, lawyers, but, why did I have to end up looking like this?”
He ended up growing up around people but feeling alone. This had a profound effect on Jono. He found a way of giving a sort of direction to his life by traveling all around the world. He visits children affected by various disabilities. He is a wonderful man with a heart of gold. He brings hope and happiness to many people!