2-Year-Old Boy Meets with Hero Who Has the Same Rare Condition

A sweet story about an unlikely bond has recently been making the rounds on the news and warming the hearts of everyone.

Jon Lancaster, 30, and 2-year-old Zackary ‘Zack’ Walton may have years separating them but they have one thing in common that allows them to share a significant bond: They were both born with a rare genetic mutation called Treacher Collins syndrome, a condition that lends their faces a distinct look. And while there are some Treacher Collins syndrome stories out in the world, this one really touched our hearts.

Last week, Lancaster flew to Australia from England for a special meeting with the little boy. It happened after his mom contacted Lancaster via Facebook in the hopes that her little boy would have someone like him to look up to and bond with. So far, Zack has had difficulty making friends with kids his own age due to his condition.

Lancaster’s meeting with the little boy might make all the difference. As his mom explained “[Jono] is a celebrity to us — he’s a huge inspiration. When he said he was coming to Australia, we knew we had to meet him and it’s made us so happy to see Zack meet someone like him.”

And Lancaster, who finds work as a part-time model now, is more than happy to be an inspiration for little Zack.

“I felt like I was the only one out in the world that was like me,” he told Adelaide Now when speaking about his experience, adding, “I would have loved to have met somebody like myself when I was younger…somebody who had got a job, got a partner and said to me ‘these are the things you can do, you can achieve.’”

Now that he has had this beautiful experience, Lancaster hopes to keep the momentum going as he’s making a good-will trip across the country to speak with other children with physical disabilities to inspire them to strive for and achieve their dreams, no matter what.