Lea was introduced to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation after she and her brother were burned in a house fire as children. Lea first attended AARBF’s summer camp, Champ Camp, in 2001. Champ Camp inspired her and changed her perspective on living with burns. Lea grew up attending as many AARBF events as possible, and now volunteers at nearly every survivor event offered, including Champ Camp. She’s thrilled to join the Board of Directors and serve as the Chair of the Programs Committee.
Lea graduated with her Bachelor’s in Biology, Anatomy and Physiology from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She worked as a health technician in Ophthalmology for the Veterans Administration Healthcare System of Palo Alto for several years before she decided to go back to school and obtain her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Samuel Merritt University. Lea is now a Registered Nurse at the Burn Intensive Care Unit at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC).
Along with her nursing responsibilities, Lea serves as the co-chair of her Burn Unit’s Shared Governance (unit council). She also serves as the co-coordinator of the SCVMC’s Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR) Program which is sponsored by the Phoenix Society to bring burn survivors together as peer supporters for new burn survivors. Lea also co-facilitates the monthly burn support group at SCVMC.
Lea currently lives in San Jose with her new husband, Matt, and their two cats, Nephele Soubize (Sauce) and Ron Howard. In her free time, she loves to hike, travel, dine out with friends and family, and support her up-and-coming rockstar/electrical engineer husband and his band, RazorRed.