Diana loves the outdoors. She loves gardening, working in her yard, bicycling, and kayaking. Constantly evolving her interests, Diana began with chair yoga shortly after discharge from the hospital then progressed to regular yoga classes. From there she became a Zumba instructor and is a massive Zumba enthusiast.
Diana's Journey with Burn Injury
Diana was burned in an accident while using gasoline to burn green tree limbs in her backyard in 2010. As a burn survivor with third degree burns over 90% of her body, she had to overcome many challenges including learning to dress and feed herself and learning about her ‘new body.’ Diana researched everything she could so that she could be a well-informed and an empowered patient while working with her rehabilitation doctors, primary care providers, burn surgeons, and burn team to understand the injury and how to better care for herself. The same year she was released from the hospital, she became a peer mentor to support other burn survivors and facilitate burn support groups as past President and currently board of directors, of Burn Survivors of New England. She also helps make research more relevant to the needs of burn survivors by participating in burn research activities, educating researchers about burn injury from a survivor perspective through her role as the co-coordinator of Knowledge Translation for the Boston Harvard Burn Injury Model System, and encouraging researchers to listen to burn survivors.
Why does Diana want to be an ambassador?
Diana’s primary goal in life is to help other burn survivors. She wants to bring resources to those in need. Diana has a deep understanding that burn survivors need to address emotional trauma as well as the physical trauma. By being an ambassador, Diana can share the MSKTC resources that address both areas. She wants to empower burn survivors with the MSKTC research-based information so that they can live their new normal lives regardless of the size of their burn.
What has Diana done as an ambassador?
Diana is an active participant in the burn community where she shares MSKTC resources with burn survivors and caregivers every single week. She has been referring burn survivors to the MSKTC website ever since she learned about it 11 years ago. Diana has also been actively engaged in MSKTC work. She provided feedback on many MSKTC resources. She was featured in the MSKTC video entitled ‘Exercise After Burn Injury’ that won a 2017 Telly award.