Tiffane “LaLa” Wheeler, was just 4 years old in 1981 when she was burned in a house fire started by flammable liquids used to clean paint brushes. She vividly remembers the 500-mile trek she made to the 1st Champ Camp in 1986. Without her mother, this trip was one of the most difficult things ten-year-old Tiffane had to experience.
Tiffane remembers being shy and scared the first couple days of Camp, but she became more comfortable as camp went on, enjoying activities such as swimming, horseback riding, and singing around the camp fire. “You don’t stay homesick for very long at Champ Camp,” she says, “there is so much fun and so much love to go around, and everywhere you turn someone to hug, and who accepts you for who you are.” She remembers Marilyn “Teddy” Erickson as her first Camp Counselor and eagerly looking forward to seeing her every year after.
Tiffane became a Camp Counselor for the Senior girls, ages 14-16, and today serves as a role model for other survivors. As a burn survivor who went through similar challenges, she is able to relate to them in ways non-survivors cannot.