Living Proof – I’m a Survivor.
In the spring of 2012 I was severely injured with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. It was the most painful and traumatic experience of my life. I had a lot of love and support from my family and friends but the connection to my new reality started when I was introduced to The Future is Mine group. The British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund makes the program available to all survivors who reside in BC. It’s a unique and innovative Adult Burn Survivor Program available to patients newly discharged as well as long time survivors. At the time I was released from the Vancouver General Hospital Burn Unit and was starting the physical and emotional healing process, I was extremely depressed and felt that giving up was my best option. Ann Coombs the Program Director is amazingly devoted to bringing burn survivors together. She gave me access to this community and its culture when I received the New Beginning resource book and DVD filled with burn survivor stories. These stories brought me from a place of feeling sorry for myself to a place of hope and strength. Their stories echoed my thoughts, fears and apprehensions because they truly knew what I was going through.
Now that I am fully healed I get to enjoy what I consider the most exciting part of my culture, which is the Activities Schedule. It’s an inclusive schedule provided for spring/summer and fall/winter, covering a wide range of activities from spa days, hikes, theatre nights and family days. All activities remain focused on positive sharing and support within our community. I have enjoyed these activities, and have even drawn the winner for the first Home Town Heroes Lottery. I have visited the Biodiversity Museum and attended the Kids Summer Camp Kickoff. I was awarded a bursary for my textbooks from the BCPFF Burn Fund for which I am very grateful. Through our community sponsors I am fortunate to enjoy the free weekly massages at the Vancouver College of Massage. We also have a private FACEBOOK page for members to exchange ideas, experiences and support. With over 100 members, it’s amazing to post an issue and have so many people respond with care and understanding.
In closing the values of caring and kindness towards others that I grew up with in my family was lost on me in my adult life. The Future is Mine family has brought those values back into my heart because of the unconditional love and kindness that I received in abundance. This experience will assist me in my counseling career. I will be able to see my client for the human being that they are and not for any negative external issues or baggage that they may bring to the sessions. I’ve learned how valuable kindness from a total stranger can positively affect one’s life. I’m living proof.