Before Sarah’s burn injury, she was a competitive gymnast. While it took a long time gaining back her stamina as well as the ability to stretch her grafted skin, she is now into coaching gymnastics. When Sarah is not advocating for burn survivors or coaching gymnastics, you may see her doing yoga, backpacking, biking, or running. Sarah particularly likes hot yoga because it helps stretch her scars and grafted skins.
Sarah's Journey with Burn Injury
Sarah suffered a severe burn injury back in 2011 due to a cookout accident. After many surgeries and skin grafts, Sarah went through a very difficult time due to a lack of aftercare. She struggled with depression and thought she would never be loved. She learned about the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors where she was able to see that she was not alone. With support from other burn survivors, she has learned to overcome challenges and adjust life after burn injury. Now Sarah is an active advocate for the burn community where she facilitates two support groups at local hospitals. She is also passionate about helping other burn survivors to find intimate relationship and has shared her story in the Sexuality and Intimacy after Burn Injury video produced by the MSKTC.
Why does Sarah want to be an ambassador?
By being an ambassador to share the free research-based MSKTC resources, Sarah ensures that other burn survivors don’t have to go through what she did when she felt alone after her burn. By being a MSKTC ambassador, she wants to be a source of strength for other burn survivors so they can go on to support others. Burn injury impacts the entire family. Sarah recognizes the value of the MSKTC resources to not only help burn survivors but also caregivers and everyone around the burn survivor.
What has Sarah done as an ambassador?
Working with local hospitals and burn centers, Sarah ensures MSKTC resources are included in patient discharge packets. She also speaks with trauma nurses about aftercare using MSKTC resources because so many important aspects of aftercare are not in the routine care for burn patients. When Sarah facilitates support groups, she always makes sure to have the MSKTC resources ready to share, and is enthusiastic to get more people involved to support people with burn injuries. As a MSKTC ambassador, Sarah also encourages the burn community to participate in the MSKTC research opportunities such as taking the MSKTC user-feedback surveys.