We have all faced dark times in our lives. However, at some point, our problems may resolve with intervention from others or disappear if we make an effort to change what needs to be changed. During these times, we all want someone we can look up to. We hope to find a person who can inspire us and make us feel like there is a reason to persevere. Jono Lancaster is an inspiration to us all. He was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome which is a genetic condition is so rare that it affects 1 in 50,000 people. This condition affects facial bone and tissue development. It may range from unnoticeable to severe. People with Treacher Collins Syndrome have small jaws or chins, underdeveloped cheekbones, sparse eyelashes and eyes that slant downward making them stand out.
Treacher Collins Syndrome is also correlated with hearing loss, breathing difficulty and vision problems. In fact, many people who have this condition may become deaf and/or blind eventually. However, please note that although it affects facial and neck areas, it does nothing to the brain. Therefore, with proper treatments and intervention, people who have this condition can enjoy a long and healthy life. Jono Lancaster was born with this rare condition. He was abandoned by his parents because of his physical condition when he was just 36 hours old. Growing up with this condition made Lancaster feel depressed and he was always acting out. He faced bullying and cruel rejection because of his condition. Recently, he discovered on Facebook that he has two younger siblings who have no idea that he exists. However, his attempts to contact his parents led to more rejection. He says that his condition has made him feel isolated.
However, instead of wallowing in self-pity, he has used his condition to become a beacon of hope for others like himself. These days, Jono is an inspiration to children who have the same condition. He travels all over the world and meets people like himself who have Treacher Collins Syndrome and their families as well, in an effort to teach them how to cope with it. He tries to help raise awareness about the condition and creates bullying prevention techniques. He believes that God created him for this reason, to help others who have the same condition love who they are and lead normal lives. Jono Lancaster once hated himself. He used to hate Treacher Collins Syndrome. However, he has used his condition to help others who share the same fate as he does. He has learned to be proud of himself and hopes that others who have the same problem will find the courage to be proud of themselves as well.