After being discharged from Loyola Medical Center and returning to the outpatient center, a nurse practitioner who treated me told me and my family about IFSA’s Camp I Am Me for burn survivors. After attending my first camp, I never looked back and wanted nothing more than to make the IFSA family a part of my life. As a survivor, it’s a personal matter to give back and help other survivors, which is why I continue to stay connected to the IFSA to this day and help where I can.
As soon as I became a counselor-in-training at the age of 17, I immediately loved being on the other side – as a volunteer. I’ve not only volunteered at camp, but I’ve also taken on tasks outside of camp to help further the cause of the IFSA. I am gratefully to have been officially associated with the IFSA in the volunteer capacity for about 6 years now.
The IFSA is an organization that truly works in the path of service to its members and ensuring that all those who benefit from any of their programs feel part of something bigger than what they came looking for. To truly understand the cause and impact of the IFSA, you need to physically get involved and experience all the wonderful things that you hear about. Words are not enough to explain the culture that has been established by the IFSA family.
Being a camp counselor and responsible for my own campers are my fondest times at camp. It wasn’t just the responsibility that is memorable, but it was the connections I made with the campers that I was only able to make due to being a burn survivor. To this day, I’ve held on to those memories of personal connections and story-sharing because it reminds me of the impact that I can have on the social and mental lives of these young survivors.