Joyous Time of The Year

Dan Dillard, CEO of Burn Prevention Network, a group DataCeutics is very connected with, shared observations from this year’s Christmas Party.  If it’s cold outside where you are, this is bound to make you warm and fuzzy deep inside.  Read on ->


This past Sunday the Burn Prevention Network celebrated the Holiday Season with over 230 burn survivor family members at our annual Survivors’ Holiday Party. Thanks to additional financial support, we were able to host a record number of family members including the largest number of children ever! Each and every child received a gift from Santa plus loads of fun activities and a great meal. On the surface, this was a normal Holiday Party complete with songs, pretty dresses and suits and tons of decorations. To the informed eye, however, much more was happening. Let me share a few specifics.  


During the event, Paul Miller a quadruple amputee from 6 years ago, met Clark Deardoff a quadruple amputee from 6 months ago. They talked for almost an hour and afterward Paul said, “I am going to teach Clark how to drive when he gets his legs!”


At another table, a member of the burn care team shared time with Makya Wert’s rowdy bunch. Her mom was there alone with the 5 children. The mom said, “we drive 2 hours one way to attend this party. This is one of our favorite Holiday Traditions!” Later the mom was sitting alone (her kids were all participating in the Children’s programs run by firefighters and burn team members) and was asked if she wanted to move tables to sit with someone else. She said “actually I am really grateful for just a few minutes to sit in quiet looking at how beautiful this space is.”


Lori and Matt Ferdock joined me at a table with a family who traveled from western Pennsylvania to attend this party. Their 5-year old son was treated by Dr. Sigrid Eberwein after falling into a campfire. Despite receiving 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his upper body, one could barely detect the hint of a scar on him! Sigrid used laser reconstruction on his scars. This wonderful outcome is a testament to Dr. Eberwein’s skill and the value of our investment in scar research which has helped enable laser treatments.


As you can see, this “Party” is actually a time of connecting, network building and peer support. Life-lines are established and permanent friendships formed. You should be proud that the Burn Prevention Network helped to make this possible!


Have a most joyous Christmas and Happy New Year!