Kids With Facial Deformities to Receive Red Carpet Treatment

The red carpet is being rolled out Thursday for a group of people whose appearance often makes them shy away from the spotlight.

Ahead of an advanced screening of the new film "Wonder," people with craniofacial disorders will walk the red carpet in an effort to remove the stigma surrounding their conditions.

Michael Brown, a two-year-old with Treacher Collins syndrome, will be among those in the spotlight. His mother, Brittany, hopes the movie can foster a conversation about craniofacial disorders.

"With me and Michael I want you to come up and start a conversation with us. You might learn something about Michael that has nothing to do with Treacher Collins that makes him who he is," Brown said.

The bones in Michael's face are too small, making it difficult for him to eat, breathe, and hear. His mom knows he looks different, but she wants people to look closer and notice that he's like any other kid.

"He loves music. He loves his big sister. He enjoys being in the park. From the inside looking out, he feels the same as everyone else," she said. "It's only other people that notice that he's any different. Michael is basically the same as any other little two-year-old kid."

Michael wears a tracheal tube and hearing aids. It's likely that he'll have more surgeries. When he's older he'll have to decide whether he wants to reconstructive surgery on his ears.

"It's kind of been my goal as a parent to fill him so full of confidence that he doesn't care if he has ears or not," she said.

Kids like Michael will also get the chance to meet people like Jono Lancaster, an adult living with Treacher Collins syndrome.

"If I had got the opportunity to meet someone like me in those days, I would have found that acceptance at a younger age. That's what motivates me to do what I do and that's why I'm here in Texas," Lancaster said. "I don't want this world to grind him down. I don't want this world to prevent him from chasing his dreams and his goals. I hope I can support him."

As her son grows, Brittany wants Michael to feel acceptance. Walking down the red carpet Thursday is another step in that direction.

"I want them to see that despite the fact that his face looks different than what you're used to, that he is a completely normal kid."

"Wonder" debuts in theaters on Friday November 17. People who see it are invited to take a picture of their ticket stub and post it on social media with the hashtag #ISawWonder and tag @CCAKids and @wonderthemovie.

A donor has agreed to donate money to the Childrens Craniofacial Association in Dallas for each post, for a maximum grand total of $50,000.

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