Growing up, Sarah Bazey loved to compete in pageants. After she was burned in a helicopter crash in 1994, she thought that was all over. She spent sixteen years covering her scars with sleeves, scarves, and turtlenecks.
But she hadn’t forgotten that first love. For her, pageants “challenge you to be the best version of yourself.” When she mentioned the idea to her husband, his response was:
“If they see you the way I see you, go for it.”
“In that moment,” Sarah remembers. “I decided I was going to go all in and own my scars and wear whatever I would wear without the scars—swimsuits and sleeveless, backless gowns.” Sarah went on to win Mrs. Minnesota and Mrs. International!
Sarah is a role model for burn survivors everywhere, embracing her scars while competing in pageants. She first became involved with Phoenix Society through the Phoenix SOAR program. The program “was a natural fit for me,” she says. “I understood the value of meeting someone who has walked in the shoes of a survivor.”
Since her injury, Sarah has never hesitated to give back to the burn community. She has been heavily involved with our organization for more than 20 years, offering leadership and philanthropic support.
By including Phoenix Society in her estate plan, Sarah is helping to further our mission and secure a better future for burn survivors around the world.
Thank you for including us in your estate plans. What inspired this decision?
Phoenix has been in my estate plans for many years. It wasn’t a difficult decision. I believe in giving back to an organization that was important to me and my family.
When you attend a Phoenix World Burn Congress it’s pretty special. My hope is we can continue to do that and bring people together.
The power of connecting people is undeniable. I want Phoenix Society to be available for survivors that are alive today and those who will be joining in the future. It was a no-brainer to be a benefactor. There was nothing difficult about the decision.
Five years ago, it was the instrumental leadership and generous support of donors like you who helped Phoenix Society launch the Never Alone Campaign, achieving the largest growth in our history. Incredible support like yours allowed us to expand to meet the needs of the burn community worldwide.
You were the first person to give to the campaign. What inspired you to do that?
That’s what leadership is. You go all in. My hope is that the organization can continue to be sustainable for the future. There needs to be bench strength and a long-term strategic plan in place. I want to see it last for generations to come.