Burn Community Blog

The Phoenix Society is a community of burn survivors, their loved ones, health professionals, and firefighters. We work together to ensure that no one feels alone as they get back to life after a burn injury. Follow our blog for stories and resources by the burn community, for the burn community.


PEG Recipient Pursues a Career in Nursing

Dec 23, 2014

After suffering a burn injury at a young age, Sara Christenson recognizes the challenge of growing up as a burn survivor. Instead of letting the experience weigh her down, she uses it to help others. She volunteers at Shriners Hospital for Children, supporting young burn survivors through their recovery process. Sara travels to other Shriners hospitals to share her story and serves as a camp counselor at several different burn camps. “Survivors who were injured at a young age have the additional burden of growing up as a burn survivor,” she said. “Given the love, support and guidance of my family and friends I believe I have resumed life and am now focused on creating positive experiences for my community.”

Twenty-Four Students Benefit from PEG in 2014

Dec 15, 2014

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, a record number of burn survivors are furthering their education during the 2014-15 school year with the help of a Phoenix Education Grant (PEG). The PEG committee, which consists of former PEG recipients, PEG donors, and Phoenix Society board members, reviewed the applications and awarded grants this year ranging from $500 to $4,000. Although these 24 scholars are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, from science to art, they all display a passion for helping others and living to their full potential.

Education Grant Recipient Shares Message of Hope and Healing

Dec 10, 2014

Bridget believes her journey recovering from severe burn injuries gave her a new outlook on life. “I feel like a part of me died after the fire,” she said. “But what I gained was incredible and inspiring. Being a burn survivor doesn’t mean you lost your life, it means you get a chance to start again.” As a mother of four, Bridget sought strength from her children, who were also burned in the house fire. She realized that by covering her scars, she was actually hiding the things they all overcame.

Tips for Coping During the Holidays After Loss of a Loved One

Dec 5, 2014

It is possible to survive a trauma or loss and find meaning in the holidays again. The most important coping strategy to remember, especially during those first holidays, is to create space for difficult feelings and awkward moments.

A Review of The Journey Back

Dec 3, 2014

Discovering The Journey Back has benefited me in my role as a trainer for an "after the crisis" program (TECIP) as well as a Director of Student Services for a small school district. While I would never wish a traumatic event on anyone, we have learned that crisis does not discriminate. When I hear about a student who has suffered from a fire, I feel like The Journey Back has provided me a gift to deliver to that student and his/her family.

The Journey Back, School Reentry - How You Can Help

Nov 19, 2014

Growing up is hard work and every child copes differently with the social, emotional, and academic rigors of attending school. After a burn injury or traumatic loss, day-to-day challenges are compounded by additional stressors. Helping a child regain a sense of normalcy to their lives after burn injury and reconnect with their peer community is critical. School reentry is an important part of that process. Parents, teachers, guidance counselors or caring adults can get the information from The Journey Back to offer support.

PRESS RELEASE - Phoenix Society Awarded Federal Fire Prevention Grant

Nov 18, 2014

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a $269,000 grant to Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The grant will support and expand the Phoenix Society’s Phoenix SOAR® (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery®) program, with particular emphasis in increasing the access to firefighter peer support, educational information, and resources for burn-injured firefighters, their families, and everyone in the fire service affected by burn injury.

The Journey Back, Making School Reentry Easier for Young Survivors

Nov 17, 2014

Helping children regain a sense of normalcy to their lives after burn injury and a reconnection with their peer community prompted the development of The Journey Back school re-entry program several years ago. When I was a child life specialist, I had been asked several times to present a school re-entry program on very short notice and without much preparation on how to implement such a program. School re-entry programs can be instrumental to a child’s transition in healing and after learning that many other colleagues were challenged with the same task -- and many schools and families were desperately searching for help -- it motivated me to figure out how we could make this process easier.

Media Advisory - CMA star Chris Young and Kidde Promote National Fire Safety Campaign

Nov 5, 2014

Grammy nominated singer Chris Young and Kidde Fire Safety are partnering to shine a “Spotlight on Fire Safety”. This national campaign is designed to help keep families safe and will also help burned firefighters by expanding the Phoenix SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery) program. Phoenix SOAR for firefighters is the first national initiative supporting burned firefighters. Kidde and Young will be joined by national and local fire service including Tulare (CA) Division Chief and Phoenix SOAR-trained peer supporter, Luis Nevarez and Phoenix Society Executive Director Amy Acton.

Media Advisory - Chris Young and Kidde Announce National Campaign at 48th CMA Awards

Nov 5, 2014

Grammy nominated, RCA Records Nashville singer/songwriter Chris Young will join Kidde Fire Safety to promote a national fire safety campaign that will help protect families by donating Kidde’s Worry-Free smoke alarms and help burned firefighters by expanding the Phoenix SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery) program. Run by the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Phoenix SOAR for firefighters is the first national initiative supporting burned firefighters. Kidde and Young will be joined by national and local fire service including City of Tulare (CA) Fire Department Division Chief and Phoenix SOAR-trained peer supporter, Louis Nevarez. Nevarez’s left forearm was amputated after a burn injury.

5 Ways to Keep Connected After Phoenix World Burn Congress

Nov 4, 2014

Phoenix World Burn Congress 2014 wrapped up two weeks ago with record attendance of over 1,000 people attending the annual, international conference. The conference offers a unique and powerful opportunity for people to come together to offer support, increase their knowledge of burn recovery, and share inspiring stories. For many burn survivors, this is their first opportunity to connect with others on the journey of burn recovery. It can be a profound and life-changing experience. So naturally, it can be difficult to transition back to “normal” life after the conference. Connections are a big part of the reason that Phoenix WBC is so powerful, so we want to help keep those connections alive throughout the year. Here are 5 ways to keep connected after Phoenix World Burn Congress.

Our Thanks to Phoenix WBC 2014 Volunteers!

Oct 25, 2014

Phoenix Society volunteers give with their hearts and offer the many hands needed to make World Burn Congress an inspiring and healing week for all in attendance. We honor and value their contributions and would like to extend our deepest thanks for all they do.

Our Youngest Participate in Phoenix WBC 2014

Oct 25, 2014

The smallest survivors and family members got a taste of belonging and fun today too! Our childcare participant, ages infant through 6 years old, enjoyed getting to know new friends and supportive caregivers. They got to explore lots of games, active play, and more. Our Phoenix UBelong staff also brought components of therapeutic programming to the kids. Childcare participants got to do an expressive arts activity just like the big kids at Phoenix UBelong! Children got to do role playing with their homemade puppets to act out and role play social skills as a way to talk about who they are and celebrating their unique qualities .

AMPed Up and UnLIMBed

Oct 24, 2014

Burn survivor-amputees and health care providers shared information and inspiration in this breakout session at the Phoenix World Burn Congress. Maureen Cross, MPT, WCC, CLT, began the session with information about wound healing, prosthetics, the power of a positive attitude and the challenges of working with insurance companies. For inspiration, Maureen showed excerpts from a TEDTalk by Amy Purdy, a double amputee who won the bronze medal in snowboarding at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi. In the second half of the session, panelists James Andreoli, Jamie Goldman, Eric Weatherbee and Sara Miller answered questions from co-facilitator Sam Wotring and members of the audience.

Community Reentry Outings

Recovery for the burn survivor and their family does not stop when they are discharged from the hospital, it extends beyond that. For some it begins with the first step back into the community, back into their life outside of the hospital. The first step in anything can be moving, fulfilling and exciting. But for a burn survivor and their family it can also be intimidating and stressful. However, with support and the right tools it can be successful for all involved. One way to help overcome the uncertainty is by participating in a community reentry outing. We have been learning about these social skill tools throughout our week in Phoenix UBelong and our oldest groups of adolescents went to Joe's Italian Ice to practice what they have learned and support each other through the process.

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