July 2023 Burn Survivor & Family Message

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July 2023 Burn Survivor & Family Message

Hello AARBF Family. My name is Andrew Mersmann, and I am the Director of Programs and Services.

Half of 2023 is already gone into the history books, summer is officially in full swing, and we are looking forward to all sorts of ways and opportunities to connect with YOU!

We know July is also a time when burn awareness rises among many people because of difficult news stories surrounding the Fourth of July holiday and use of (often illegal) fireworks and explosives. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones (and pets!) and leave it to the professionals while celebrating. Here is some great information about firework safety from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association): https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/FireworksSafetyTips.pdf.

And, if you find the booms and bangs and noise and sparks and light challenging or upsetting, we are here for you. Share what’s going on in one of our support groups. 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 info@aarbf.org and indicate your region.

Northern Outdoor Trip

July 28-30, 2023

It’s time to be sure you younger family members (ages 7-17) are signed up for amazing memory-making Outdoor Trip, July 28-30, where participants go wild with new adventures like kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, and really solidifying friendships. It’s an extraordinary event. Register today using the link below and select “Register for a New Session” then select “Outdoor Trip Camper 2023.”

Educational Scholarships Available

Due June 30, 2023

Although summer is getting into full swing, it’s never too soon to add some ease to your school life. We are here to support you with our scholarship opportunities. The Woody and Louise Reed “Bridge to Life” scholarship provides financial assistance for burn survivors and their family members who are pursuing education after high school, whether that is at a trade school community college, college, or university.

If you are a burn survivor or family member continuing your educational road to graduate studies (a master’s degree or PhD), we are inspired by you and we want to support you, as well. Use the same application link, below, for the “Aiming Higher” scholarship to help defray some of your school expenses. Both of these academic scholarships are ways to really make your future a bit easier so you can focus on YOU and your dreams and ambitions.’

For questions regarding these two scholarships, please email us at info@aarbf.org.

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/

Support Groups

We have made changes to our support group registration process. Please contact Andrew Mersmann at amersmann@aarbf.org 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 – July 9, 2023 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. Currently virtual, this group is available to both survivors and their family members.

Fresno Community Regional Medical Center – July 11, 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 – July 5, 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 – July 12, 2023 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members.

North Bay Burn Survivor – July 5, 2023 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. This is an in-person regional support group open to both survivors and their family members.

Saint Francis – July 27, 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 – July 6, 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 – July 18, 2023 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. This is an online support group specifically designed for Spanish-speaking burn survivors.

Statewide – July 20, 2023 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This is an online support group open to both burn survivors and their loved ones throughout California.

Additional Support

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)

Featured Videos

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!

How to Control Anxiety

AARBF Wellness Team members Jamba and Poppy share ways to help you manage stress and anxiety through breathing.

Yoga Modifications

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.