Hello AARBF Family. My name is Andrew Mersmann, and I am the Director of Programs and Services.
We often call August the “Dog Days of Summer” because heat can be so unrelenting and has us with our tongues hanging out seeking relief. (that’s not the true origin of that story—it has to do with when Sirius, the Dog Star rises in the morning with the sun. But mine makes a better image)
It also serves as a reminder if you are dealing with larger burn scars and graft sites that since sweating and temperature regulation are harder, August is a time to be extra careful about drinking plenty of water, finding shade, staying inside where it is cooler during the heat of the day, and covering up with shade-providing hats and long sleeves over the sunscreen we always use.
The tail end (tail end…dog…see what I did there?) of August, those who have registered for the event will be packing up their sleeping bags, families, and fun for The Getaway Family Camp (September 2-4 over Labor Day Weekend). Open to burn survivors and their families (adult survivors with their spouses and children, child burn survivors with their parents and siblings…all are welcome!) Focus on togetherness and connect with other families through fun and camaraderie, but don’t get left out—registration closes August 25! See below for the registration link.
Most of us find the extra heat in August depleting. It might make us feel a little more tired, unmotivated, and unlikely to reach out. This is the PERFECT time to join, or get back to, a support group. Share what’s going on in one of our support groups with other burn survivors or caregivers and loved ones. You will find such common ground around pretty much any topic you bring up, and others who have insight and awareness to share. You never have to be alone.
See you soon!
If you are a burn survivor and family member and wish to be added to our monthly email, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate your region.
Getaway Family Camp
September 2-4, 2023
Don’t miss out on this fabulous weekend to not only spend time with your family but other families within our burn community! Register today using the link below and select “Register for a New Session” then select “Getaway Family Camp.”
AARBF's Annual Dinner in Clovis
September 23, 2023
We are so excited to see the return of our annual dinner in Clovis. We’ve received many requests to move this event to earlier in the year – and we’ve listened! It is now scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd. You’ll enjoy the same great event with dinner, dessert auction, silent and live auctions, as well as fun times with your friends in the Central Valley.
Watch our social media this week to see how you can get your tickets for this event.
Phoenix Society World Burn Congress Scholarships
Conference Dates: October 4-7, 2023
Scholarship Applications Due: August 18, 2023
Have you heard of the Phoenix World Bun Congress? Have you been? We’d love to see you there—on the East Coast this year (the event moves to different locations each year). That’s a long way to go for us Californians, so AARBF wants to help survivors and loved ones who are planning on attending the Phoenix Society World Burn Congress (October 4-7 in National Harbor, Maryland). We look to help applicants with some financial support for conference registration and hotel (based on double occupancy) with our World Burn Scholarship program. Travel to Maryland, ground travel, meals, and other expenses won’t be able to be covered by us, but we hope you still get there and enjoy this incredible experience. Apply for the AARBF scholarship using the link below and find out all the details of the event at this link: https://www.phoenix-society.org/phoenix-wbc/
We have made changes to our support group registration process. Please contact Andrew Mersmann at email@example.com or 818-848-0223 Ext. 160 for all group registrations, regardless of your region.
Our Zoom rooms have changed. You will need to be registered with Andrew to receive the new Zoom links.
We are also working at restoring our regional groups to in-person. We will be happy to provide you with more information on this and address any concerns you may have.
Regional Support Groups
Southern California – August 6, 2023 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. Currently virtual, this group is available to both survivors and their family members.
Fresno Community Regional Medical Center – August 8, 2023 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members. You may also contact Marissa McCallough at MMuro3@communitymedical.org to register.
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center – August 1, 2023 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members.
East Bay Burn Survivor – August 9, 2023 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members. **Will be virtual in August**
North Bay Burn Survivor – August 2, 2023 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members. **Will be virtual in August**
Saint Francis – August 31, 2023 from 11:30am – 1:00pm. Currently virtual, this group is available to both survivors and their family members.
Statewide Online Support Groups - All Virtual
All virtual support groups are open to out of state survivors. Please contact us to learn more.
Caregiver – August 3, 2023 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an online state-wide support group for family members, caregivers, and loved ones of burn survivors. This group is closed to burn survivors.
Spanish Speaking – August 15, 2023 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. This is an online support group specifically designed for Spanish-speaking burn survivors.
Statewide – August 17, 2023 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an online support group open to both burn survivors and their loved ones throughout California.
Peer Support – Not everyone is comfortable in a group setting, which is why the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation offers one-on-one Peer Support. Peer Support is a power tool for healing from a burn trauma. There is something magical that happens when one survivor sits and shares their experience and healing process with another. Peer support can relieve the feeling of being all alone in your experience. Peer support can come in many forms; a burn survivor talking to another burn survivor, a parent talking to another parent or loved one. This service is not limited to burn survivors. A burn injury can affect the entire family, caregivers and other loved ones.
Back to School Support (available upon request)
AARBF’s Multimedia Resource Library includes tip sheets, videos, stories, and so much more. Video content within the library has been developed by the AARBF Community; including our staff, volunteers, burn survivors and community partners! Below are our featured videos for July!
AARBF Wellness Team members Jamba and Poppy share ways to help you manage stress and anxiety through breathing.
If you want to try yoga but think your body can’t do the yoga poses, then this video is for you. Our yoga team will show you how to modify the poses to suit your body.