My Inspiration

Patricia Carrigan
Published on: April 2012
My inspiration started as a sadness that turned to joy. I was about five when my oldest sister, Amber was burned by some scalding hot water. The burns were all the way down one side of her body, including one side of her face. After the accident, Amber went through a lot of struggles that had to do with her healing skin.
my inspiration,motivated
She eventually decided to cut her beautiful long hair into a pixi-cut because it would get caught onto the bio-brane (synthetic skin used to help burned skin heal) and because it was summer, and she had to always wear a hat outside. That made it so hot! She also had to wear a sleeve to cover her burned arm. The sleeve and hat kept the sun off of her healing skin. It was a very difficult time for her. That is until she was invited to go to The Burn Institute of San Diego's Camp Beyond the Scars.

This camp changed Amber forever. She went from a nervous, self-conscious child who always thought about her burns, to an outgoing and confident burn survivor! From then on, Amber didn't care what an-yone thought about her scars.
So much would happen in just a week at that camp! She would arrive home from camp so excited and full of absolute confidence and happiness! She'd practically be bouncing off the walls, laughing and telling us about all her new friends of all different ages. It was so amazing to see the change that happened. I remember even being a bit jealous that she was able to go away for a week and come back telling all these incredible stories about all of the fun she had while away at camp. Over the years Amber has continued to attend Camp Beyond the Scars. It has made her the amazingly self-assured young woman she is today. It has also given her a heart for giving and caring for those in need. She is now a counselor for the camp for the first time this year! She is very excited and hopes to work with the "little ones" which usually follow her around at camp.
I've always been very grateful to Camp beyond the Scars for all that they've done for not just my sister, but so many other kids that came before and after her. I never knew exactly what I could do to show my gratitude or express how much they've inspired me. It wasn't until a little over a year ago that it finally hit me. I could give back to them as a 'thank you' for all they've done for my sister and my family. I decided to donate 50% of my profits from my first novel, Antiserum Part I, to The San Diego Burn Institute and Camp Beyond the Scars. Then I thought, why not take this a bit further? I want to give, but I have no more funds... ah, I do have myself! I volunteered at the Camp. It was absolutely as wonderful as my sister always said it was. Everyone was so caring and made the camp fabulous while still helping them grow emotionally. This is a place where kids learn that those aren't "scars" they are like "badges of courage" and they aren't "victims," they are "SURVIVORS!" What can be more inspiring than that?
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