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This fundraiser ended on 10/31/12

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Please "Give Forward" so the help we received will be available for others to experience the healing and inspiring World Burn Congress.

Our lives will be forever changed by the experience of the World Burn Congress, an annual international event that brings together more than 800 burn survivors, their families, care givers, burn care professionals and firefighters. We were encouraged to share our stories, and received support and knowledge of burn recovery. For many, it was the first opportunity to meet and share with others who have experienced a burn trauma.

With the help of the Maricopa Health Foundation and generous donations from Nadine and Bobby Durham, Ruth Rimmer, PhD, Brewer Law Firm, and Matthew Cunningham, PC, we were able to attend the World Burn Congress this year. Your donations help burn survivors attend the WBC and share their inspirational stories of survival, courage and personal growth.

Click on the Related Links to read each of our stories:

Alejandra Tarango, Linda Schmidt, Johnny & Monica Munoz, Charlie Kleck, Chamisa Hembree, Meri Hembree



I was only 4 years old when I was burned. That was 54 years ago, and back then, hospitals were very different. I remember it being a very scary place. I didn't speak English and my parents were only allowed to visit me a few days a week. I was very alone. I wasn't given pain medication. I endured a lot of pain, more than any 4 year old should have to endure. The scars I was left with are not just physical scars. I grew up never really being able to accept that I have scars, and always afraid to let my scars show. I had secret scars, I hid the ones on my skin, and the ones inside too. I never had counseling to figure any of this out. Then, in 2004, I was in another fire, in my house, and it all came back. I thought I was going crazy, but I found out I had post traumatic stress syndrome.

Recently, I have been blessed to meet with clinical psychologist Dr. Ian Sadler at the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center. Dr. Sadler has gently opened the door to help me accept that I have scars. I am learning that I am not alone. I have been going to the burn survivor support group and for the first time in my life, I feel like I am normal. I feel like I am one of them, and I am seeing what is good, what is true, and what is beautiful. Dr. Sadler and the group have helped me to not be embarassed or ashamed to show my scars.

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend the World Burn Congress. I have learned so much in the short time I've been going to the burn survivor support group, just being around other people who have survived like me has helped me so very much. I believe that the Burn Congress will teach me even more about accepting my scars and learning to be comfortable with my story. I want to thank Dr. Sadler, and Linda Schmidt for the encouragement they have shown, and thanks to the Maricopa Health Foundation for sending me to the Burn Congress.

Sincerely, Alejandra 'Sandi" Tarango

"All things great & small, even those that crawl, Sandi loves them all"

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