Jason Schechterle Shares Hope and Possibility
Growing up, Jason had one dream—to serve as a Phoenix Police Officer. Inspired by his brother and the tragic loss of a local law enforcement hero, Jason worked persistently towards his dream. After serving four years in the Air Force, at the age 26, Jason achieved his goal to work on the streets of Phoenix as a rookie police officer. Then, only 14 months into what was supposed to be a life-long career, Jason’s life took an unexpected, dramatic and, at the time, tragic turn.
Jason told the story of his journey to recover from devastating burn injuries caused by a crash while responding "lights and sirens" to an emergency call; from the challenge of fighting for his life, to the physical recovery, and eventually to the emotional challenges he faced each night as he lay his head down to sleep. Jason discussed the outstanding support of his community—and the enduring love and support of his wife Suzie and his children Kiley, Zane, and Masen.
"Burns are one injury that you really cannot compare to any other," Jason said. "They have life-long effects physically, mentally, and emotionally." As he shared the unique understanding of being a fellow burn survivor he offered, "Never underestimate the power of the human spirit to persevere," he said. "I believe that humans have an inherent need to be inspired—so when you find something or see something that inspires you...move toward it. This life is short and precious. Don't let the pain of today overcome the power of tomorrow."