Brynn Hawkins, 14, recently returned from her fifth year of attending Young Survivors Burn Camp.
“It has been a wonderful opportunity for her, just to go and identity with other kids who have had similar experiences and can just be kids and have fun and not have any body image judgment,” said Brynn’s mom Debbie Hawkins.
Brynn pulled 10 cups of boiling water onto herself when she was almost two years old.
Hawkins was making coffee and unbeknownst to her Brynn came up from behind and she was just able to reach over the counter and tip the pot.
She ended up with second and third degree burns on 42 per cent of her body.
The family lives on Quadra Island. Brynn was rushed to Campbell River in an ambulance and then taken by air to BC Children’s Hospital. She spent one week in intensive care and seven weeks in the burn unit, which Hawkins said was fairly new at the time.
When Brynn was discharged the family was informed about the opportunity to go to Burn Camp. It is free for the families as it is funded by the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. There is a celebration for families and victims of all ages when the camp begins and kids are invited to attend on their own when they are six-years-old.
But Hawkins wasn’t ready to part with her daughter for a week until she was older.
The Hawkins said she was finally ready when Brynn was at a day camp wearing a bikini top and some of the other girls made fun of how she looked.
“Right there was my turning point, she needs to go be with people who share her experience,” Hawkins said.
Brynn has been going to the camp ever since, and according to Hawkins she loves it.
The Burn Fund hosts burn survivors aged 6-18 for one week every summer. The campers participate in fun summer activities such as swimming, hiking and kayaking and they also have access to counsellors who are either burn survivors themselves, medical professionals or fire fighters.
This year the camp was held at Cheakmakmus Centre in Paradise Valley.