When many couples decide to expand their family, they often take into consideration the different genetic traits that they may pass on to their children. For example, if someone has a history of heart problems, they might be concerned about passing that on to their children as well.

Treacher Collins syndrome, or TCS, is a rare facial disfigurement that greatly slows the development of bones and other tissues that make up the human face. As a result, most people living with TCS have underdeveloped cheek bones, a small jaw, and an undersized chin.

When Simon Moore, who suffers from Treacher Collins, and his wife, Vicky, decided to have a child, they received major backlash from people who thought it was a bad idea. But they weren’t going to let that controversy stop them from fulfilling their dream of being wonderful, loving parents.

About one in every 50,000 births in Europe result in Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare disorder in which people are born with a number of different facial deformities, particularly around the eyes, ears, jawbone, and cheekbones.

Cats’ photos / Wikimedia Commons

While those affected by Treacher Collins syndrome, or TCS, are as intelligent as anyone else, their unusual physical features, such as eyes that slant downwards and malformed (or in some cases, completely absent) ears, mean that they’re often treated cruelly by others.

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Those suffering from Treacher Collins syndrome have more to worry about than just cosmetic issues, though. Because of their physical deformities, many people with the disorder have serious problems hearing, seeing, and even breathing. Those aren’t their only concerns, though…

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Thirty-year-old Simon Moore from Norfolk, England, suffers from Treacher Collins syndrome himself. He has a great relationship with his wife, 36-year-old Vicky, but they were criticized for an important decision that they made not too long ago…

When Simon and Vicky decided that they were ready to have a child through IVF conception, the couple decided not to prescreen for the genetic condition, despite the strong likelihood that their child would be born with Treacher Collins syndrome as well.

Once their daughter, Alice, was born, it was immediately clear that she had Treacher Collins syndrome. Due to the challenges that the condition would inevitably present to her, many people criticized the Moores for being “cruel” by opting out of the screening, or even having children at all.

Despite this harsh judgment from complete strangers, the proud couple remained adamant about the fact that they knew exactly what they were doing, and they defended their decision to go through with the pregnancy.

“It’s natural for every couple to have baby together. Why should we be different with us?” explained Vicky, who also had three other daughters from an earlier relationship. She admitted that it was difficult to process people’s criticisms, though.

“We’ve had all sorts of comments and it is the bad things that get to you,” Vicky said. Luckily, they still had plenty of support from the people who mattered the most. “Our close family has been fantastic,” she added. You’re definitely going to want to hear her tell her story in her own words…

As frustrating as it may be sometimes, it was clear that Alice was lucky to have parents as special as Simon and Vicky. They truly cared for their daughter, as well as for each other, and their baby certainly seemmed to be in capable hands!

What a difficult situation. Bravo to Simon and Vicky for handling this criticism with grace.

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