What kind of parent abandons a child at birth? Sure, there are circumstances where age and ability to care for a newborn come into play, but anything else smacks of a selfishness that cannot be easily be fathomed. This is a life you brought into the world, a life you chose to have. To simply reject it, to say “No” after the fact, is inexcusable. There can be no good reason. There can only be heartlessness. Just ask Jono Lancaster. When he was 36 hours old, his Mom and Dad left him at the hospital. Why? Well, Jono was born with something called Treacher Collins Syndrome, a disease resulting in a severe deformation of the facial features.
It wasn’t the result of some accident or injury. It was genetic, an accident of birth. From an early age, he felt alone and channeled that sadness into aggressive behavior. His was bullied and picked upon. When he reached out to the world via social media, he discovered he had two other siblings who do not know that he exists.
He tried to reach out to his parents again. They rejected him a second time. That’s right – the people who brought him into this world sent him out alone in it another time. So how did Jono choose to respond? The remarkable video below tells the rest of his astonishing story. Let’s just say that he’s become an inspiration, traveling the world to help families and kids deal with the disease.
He speaks to groups, asking for understanding, and clarifying common misconceptions (like the one that plagues most people with Treacher Collins Syndrome – that they don’t possess normal intelligence). To those with the condition, he is a hero. To their mothers and fathers, he is the promise of a somewhat “normal” life. Still, the pain of his past continues to haunt Jono. Yet he’s learned to embrace his looks, letting them drive his motivation to play role model for others.