A rare genetic condition called Treacher Collins Syndrome can impair breathing, hearing, and vision. However, it has no impact on a person’s intelligence or, more significantly, their ability to experience the hurt of rejection.
The condition has an impact on the growth of the facial tissues and bones, including the cheekbones, jawbone, ears, eyes, and ears. Treacher Collins, whose facial features often include slanted eyes, little eyelashes, and malformed ears, affects about 1 in 50,000 persons at birth.
In October 1985, Jono Lancaster was conceived. His parents were informed by doctors who diagnosed him with TCS that he would probably never be able to walk or talk. When he was less than two days old, they offered him for adoption.
But foster mother Jean arrived two weeks later. She simply “fell in love with him” after seeing “a small infant who required caring for.”
She formally adopted him five years after that.
He has also never lost sight of her affection.
Although she may not be the tallest woman I’ve ever met, this woman has the largest heart. This woman has been a foster parent for 30 years; she loves so many people and has given so much of herself.
Every time a child was transferred to a new foster home, this woman sobbed because she felt as though she had failed the child. Despite being a single mother in her 40s, this woman accepted my employment despite not knowing what the future contained.
I was adopted by this woman, who also gave me a wonderful family in Claire and Stephen. This woman was an angel sent to me at just the right time.
My mother, my hero, this angel’s name is Jean.
Despite their unwavering support, Jono didn’t start accepting his appearance and no longer avoided mirrors until he was in his early 20s.
“I’ve had to have an optimistic attitude my entire life. Everybody just looks at me and assumes the worst of me, so I’ve got to constantly disprove their assumptions.
Since then, he’s come a long way.
I’m proud of who I am and what I’ve accomplished, and Treacher Collins is responsible for that.
Jono Collins is a passionate supporter of those who have been impacted by Treacher Collins. He is 32 years old, has a long-term girlfriend, and uses his personal experiences to talk with groups and at schools all around the world.
Would he choose to have facial reconstruction surgery, though, if the chance arose?
He wouldn’t be him, so no, definitely not.
God created me in this way, and it was for a reason that I was born this way.
What has thus changed? Where did he get his new outlook?
I’m still a young man from West Yorkshire, and my incredible family and friends are still there. Treacher Collins is still here, and I still have the same face.
I have confidence in myself rather than feeling sorry for myself. I’m thinking it’s fantastic to be me instead of why me. I love the way I appear rather than despise it.
Instead of being hidden, I’ve decided to expose my beautiful smile and piercing blue eyes to the world. I’ve decided to live!
Nothing is more incapacitating than a negative attitude! With self-confidence, positivity, and love for who you are, not only will your world improve, but so will it!
Watch the BBC documentary “Love Me, Love My Face” below to learn more about this amazing man, whose optimistic approach enables him to speak out for others. Share with others to encourage a good outlook and a love of oneself!