Jono Lancaster is back on our screens in So What If My Baby Is Born Like Me?

Following on from the documentary Love Me, Love My Face featuring Jono LancasterSo What If My Baby Is Born Like Me? is the latest offering from the BBC, and looks at the dilemma parents with hereditary disabilities face when deciding whether to have children.

So What If My Child Looks Like Me- Jono Lancaster - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

Jono Lancaster, 26, was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a disability that has a 50% chance of being passed on to his children. Having faced hardship as a child, Jono and long-term girlfriend Laura, are unsure of whether to risk passing this disability, and its inherent problems, on to their child.

Trying to decide the right path, the programme sees the couple visit other families having faced this decision, as well as children with Treacher Collins syndrome and adults who have coped through adolescence living with the disability, and are happily out the other side!

Watch on BBC 3 tonight (19th April) at 9pm to learn a little more about this tough decision that so many face.

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April 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Entertainment. 13 comments.

Disability blog watch – Reflections on Treacher Collins syndrome

Trawl the Internet for just one moment and you will come across a great variety of fantastic disability-related blogs and personal websites. With that in mind, I thought I would start a regular post introducing you to some of the best and most inspiring entries.

I start with the personal website Reflections on Treacher Collins syndrome by Amie. If you read my last post about Jono Lancaster and the documentary Love Me, Love My Face, you’ll know that Treacher Collins syndrome is a condition from birth that distorts the growth of cheekbones.

Amie, who is in her own words ‘your typical, garden-variety human being’, a physician and married with two cats, also has Treacher Collins syndrome.

Her site is a great resource for others who might be struggling with the condition, with a focus on personal achievement and building confidence. It includes valuable links to other inspirational articles that have helped Amie cope with the way people view her and Treacher Collins syndrome. She even has a top ten brilliant reasons why she loves being different. And as the initial page on her site asserts, ‘what matters most is how you see yourself.’

Amie - Treacher Collins syndrome - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

If you have an inspiring personal blog or know of one you would like me to feature please contact me at inspiremagazineuk@googlemail.com. Or follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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December 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Inspiration. 7 comments.

Love Me, Love My Face – why everyone should watch it

If you missed the BBC documentary Love Me, Love My Face about Jono Lancaster who was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, then I strongly recommend you watch it. The rare genetic condition, which is believed to affect around 1 in 10,000 babies, means he was born with no cheekbones and hearing difficulties.

Jono Lancaster - Love Me Love My Face - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

The show focuses on Jono’s search for his biological parents who gave him up for adoption as they couldn’t accept his appearance. Because of the way he looked, doctors predicted that he might not be able to walk or talk, and that his mental ability would be limited. But this is not a typical result of Treacher Collins syndrome, and Jono has grown to be much like any other 26-year-old man; training at the gym, working full-time (as a support worker for people with learning difficulties), and happily in a long-term relationship.

For me, the relationship he has with adopted mother Jean, and girlfriend of four years, Laura Richardson, are what is important. Laura and Jono’s relationship has generated much media attention with some people finding hard to understand how Jono could find love looking the way he does. But Laura has never seen Jono as any different from everyone else; “even though his face looks different, he’s still attractive. He’s still got a gorgeous body, he wears nice clothes, he’s got nice hair, it’s not about one thing it’s the whole package. [When we met] to me he looked gorgeous so I didn’t care if other people stared.”

His adopted mother recalls how much she wanted to take him home and couldn’t understand how anyone could abandon such a lovely baby. After fighting low self-esteem as a child following years of bullying and having to deal with people assuming he is mentally disabled because he is physically different, Jono has accepted himself and is now on a mission to change the way people think about his face. He said “doctors always asked if I wanted corrective surgery… to get my cheek bones built up, my teeth straightened or my jaw broken and realigned, but despite how depressed I got I thought ‘God made me like this’. I’m glad I didn’t choose anything. I’m proud of who I am. And Treacher Collins made me who I am today.”

I strongly recommend watching this inspiring documentary. It’s a powerful example of how we should all look past physical appearance and not underestimate or prejudge. Visit BBC iPlayer to watch Love Me, Love My Face.

Jono Lancaster - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

PS. Looking at this picture found on Jono’s Facebook page, I can understand why Laura likes him!

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November 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration. 22 comments.