In 2013, AlloSource began a 10-year partnership with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, pledging an annual financial contribution to fund their scholarship program. For more than 35 years, the Phoenix Society has worked with survivors, families, healthcare professionals and the fire industry to support recovery from burns, improve the quality of burn care and prevent burn injuries. Here is the story of a 2014 Education Grant Recipient.
“As I reached my middle and high school years, it became incredibly important for me to prove that my past trials would not get the best of me,” she said. “I would do my best in everything, proving there is life beyond emotionally and physically challenging experiences.”
She vividly remembers the moment she accidentally poured boiling water on her arm and was rushed to the hospital. She spent a month at Shriner’s Burn Hospital in Ohio and has endured 16 surgeries over the past 14 years.
Throughout high school, Katie excelled on the tennis court. Her team didn’t know that after she was burned, she was told she might never have full motion of her right arm. With each swing of her racket, she won a victory against her injury.
She also succeeded academically, receiving several merit awards and serving as her class valedictorian. She received a student leadership award, which is a testament to how far she’s come.
“I transformed from a shy, self-conscious girl who was unable to look past her own scars, to a strong and confident young woman, without concern for outward appearances and with the ability to lead others.”
As she enters the next phase of her education, Katie hopes to use her skills to help others. She is pursuing a Communications and Language Disorders degree from the University of Georgia.
“Whether therapy is needed as a result of a burn injury, a car accident, a traumatic experience or a speech impediment, the overall goal is to encourage, motivate and advance,” Katie explained.
She is looking forward to providing support to others while they overcome their own challenges. She would love to work with children, using her experience to help them feel confident in their own unique qualities.
“My aspiration is to help and serve others, while using my own story to inspire and ignite a passion for overcoming what may seem impossible.”