REBEKAH DEVLIN OUT OF THE BOX
JONO Lancaster has Treacher-Collins syndrome, which affects the formation of bones while in the womb. He was born without cheekbones and his shocked parents gave him up for adoption when he was just 36 hours old.
He was adopted by a woman who has loved him unconditionally but, as you’d expect, life has been hard.
He used to cut his own hair as a child because he hated having to sit in front of a mirror. He was bullied terribly and was desperately depressed.
‘‘ How can I love me when they can’t love me?’’ he says of his birth parents. But love is thankfully something Jono, 25, now has plenty of in his life. He is in a three-year relationship with blonde beauty Laura.
They met at a gym where he was working.
Her resting pulse rate of more than 100 beats a minute gave away her feelings.
‘‘ Even though his face looks different, he’s still attractive, he’s still got a gorgeous body, wears nice clothes, has nice hair,’’ Laura says.
They actually have a similar hairstyle ... though Jono spends a lot more time on his than she does.
‘‘ He loves his hair,’’ Laura says with a laugh.
Jono now leads a normal
True love: Jono and Laura. life. He is a gym junkie and works as a support worker for people with disabilities.
‘‘ Everyone always underestimated me and I’ve always had to prove people wrong,’’ he says, adding that strangers would often speak slowly to him, assuming he was mentally handicapped.
Despite his parents’ decision to give him up, he’s now trying to find them. It is a big gamble — will he be rejected for a second time? And he refuses to have surgery to fix up his face.
‘‘ Facial reconstruction is not me. God made me like this. I was born like this for a reason,’’ he says. ‘‘ I do like the person I have become.’’
So do we, Jono, so do we. Jono: Love Me, Love My Face LifeStyle You, 9.30pm