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Survivor Stories

My name is Gwen and one of my life’s blessings was that of being the wife of a firefighter. The pride and passion for his thirty-four year career of active duty was a reflection of which I am today, and behind the scenes, was as much my career as it wa …

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My name is Stasi Manser. On December 5th, 1969 I woke very early to the sound of my 9-month-old baby sister wanting to be fed her morning bottle. I got up and decided that rather than waking my mom I would prepare the bottle for her myself. While the m …

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My name is Michella Grippo.  I was severely burned three times in total.  Below is a picture of my last burn which occurred 2 weeks after a burn I received on my leg from a go-karting accident. The last time I had been burned it was August of 2009 and …

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In January of 1998, a happy beautiful six year old danced around her living room, mouthing the words to “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” from the movie Hercules.  She loved the way her dress ¾ well, her aunt’s old skirt with arm holes cut into it ¾ twirled as …

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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 m …

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BEAUTY FROM THE ASHES – I had an amazing childhood. I grew up in a small town in Alberta with my parents and two siblings. Money was tight, but I didn’t know it at the time. We would go swimming every Saturday evening, then walk home in our pajamas and …

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In A Split Second – Without warning, on April 24, 2003 our family’s journey in life was changed forever. This day started out as any other day, with me prepping for meals and assisting the head cook at a seniors care facility. We were about to have our …

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The Power of Positive Thinking – My name is Sharad Mohan, and my story starts in the summer of 2003. I was 20 years old, a 3rd year student at UBC, with a love for the party life. Driving home late one Friday, I recall thinking how great my life was, a …

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Having Faith Is The Healing Process – The year of 2002 was when everything happened to me: I was married to my wonderful husband, gave birth to my beautiful son, graduated from College with a Marketing Management Diploma and life seemed perfect. Until …

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DON’T HIDE! – HEAD UP AND FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS – My name is Buffy Sherreitt and I recently celebrated my 36th birthday on Aug. 13th 2009. In 1978, I celebrated my fifth birthday in the old burn unit in VGH. On the morning of June 15th, 1978, my life was …

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LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST – Whenever you really think your life is hard, and you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you just need to look at someone else who has really had a challenge, and then your life seems so much easier. For a while, I was that pers …

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STRENGTH THROUGH LIFE’S JOURNEY – Hi my name is Ilyambabazi Sebyeza and I am a burn survivor. Four years ago I was injured in a fire accident at my home. My face was the most affected. The nature of my injury was a bit of 3rd, 2nd, and 1st degree burns …

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I am a survivor – Stop. Drop and Roll…which are words that have been drilled into every child’s mind since day one. Three words that I never thought would have such an effect on my life at the age of twelve. I was spending an afternoon at a friend’s …

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Keep Walking – When I came down to make my tea the kettle had just turned off. l put the tea bag into my Grande size travel cup and poured the boiling hot water into the cup. Immediately I picked up a spoon that was just behind the cup to add the honey …

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One Match Changes a Life – My story began at the age of 5 years old when curiosity got the best of me on an early summer morning. Our family vehicle was in the driveway with an array of toys that were still inside as purchased from the local fair the n …

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Perseverance, Consistence & Encouragement -It’s been three years since my burn accident had occurred, or should I say I’ve been a burn survivor for three years. Let me bring you back to how my paramedic and I remember this true story. It was around …

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Don’t Grieve – You WILL Find A Way – In April 1992 I was involved in a devastating house fire. I was very fortunate that I was the only victim in this tragic accident and when rescued was barely alive. I had managed to crawl towards our living room win …

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Building A New Life – In December 2009 my life took a shattering blow when I was burnt to more than 35% of my body in a kitchen fire. However, God has since offered me a new life. Through the trauma I have been living since then, I realized that I had …

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Being A Survivor Not A Victim – Where better to start my story then at the beginning… I was burned while on a camping trip with my aunt, uncle, brother and family friends. It was a great day by the lake at the campsite and I was lounging around the c …

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Lesson Learned. Lessons Shared –  My story as a survivor began when I was burned February 1983 in an apt fire in Edmonton. I awoke to find my son Adam who was a week away from being 5 at the time sitting in our living room surrounded by fire. He had di …

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Survival During Changing Times – As a burn survivor we all have a story, and for some it may be easier to write about, but I find it difficult and felt that it would not make for great reading. I was burned at 9 months; actually it was Easter Saturday …

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Focusing On The Future – On Thursday, June 11, 2009 when I arrived home from work to find my roommate prepping dinner but hadn’t started the BBQ so I offered to get it started. Steaks and a beer were going to be the perfect way to relax in a beautiful …

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A Bright Future Lies Ahead – I was born and raised in North Vancouver. My Dad loved boating and anything to do with the water. My brother, sister and I took turns helping Dad with the boat chores. My Dad worked at a refinery and had the opportunity to …

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Will & Surrender – Winter solstice of 2006 (December 21st), was to be the longest night of the year, and of my life… It was a typical evening of drinks and debauchery at The Cambie in downtown Vancouver, and a special occasion for my good friend Ky …

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A Race That Continues – In January 1994 I hiked out to very remote beach on Vancouver Island with four of my friends including my brother. We wanted to experience the full moon and big waves while camping for a couple of nights. The usually muddy trail …

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Pain is Inevitable, Suffering Is Optional – In early 2009 I was an eager 20 year old that decided to start a new chapter in my life and make a change to my career path. I was fortunate to find a job as an electric apprentice. On May 5, 2009 nearly thre …

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Aiming to Make a Difference – On the August long weekend in 2007 I was in Victoria playing in a soccer tournament and spending quality time with teammates and friends. When I went to bed on the Sunday night, life was good. I woke up around 4am Monday a …

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Never Give Up – My story began on Jan 6 1966. I was 2 ½ years old and really wanted to bake a cake with my Mum. She was 7 ½ months pregnant with German measles and very sick so suggested we both have a nap before baking the cake. I waited for her to fa …

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A Light on the Road – On June 8, 1988 I was an enthusiastic and active 9-year-old living in North Vancouver, BC. As I often did, I agreed to help my friends (two sisters) deliver newspapers and then go to see my brothers play baseball. When we finished …

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When You’re Against the Wall – Have you ever considered what life would be like if you could eliminate the pain from your past? You could be a different person; no burn injury, no hospital stays, no surgeries! Sounds great huh? But what would you risk …

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