Jizelle’s burn survivor journey began at 7 years old when her sister prepared a steaming cup of soup and placed it on the sofa armrest where it tipped, and the boiling liquid spilled on Jizelle’s tummy and inner thighs. She screamed with pain and her father desperately pulled her clothing off, only to see her skin was missing. Filled with panic, her parents rushed her to the hospital and Jizelle murmured “I’m going to look like a monster.” This began a long week at the U C San Diego Health Regional Burn Center where she received the devastating news that she may never play soccer again.
“Then you can just cut off my legs!”
Disheartened, Jizelle said there was no reason to even walk because she didn’t have her “regular legs”. Slowly, the physical therapist coaxed her out of bed with a soccer ball and Jizelle was on the road to recovery. She worked on her flexibility and strength, while trying to conceal her scars by refusing to wear shorts, dresses, or swimsuits…until she discovered the Burn Institute’s Camp Beyond the Scars for burn-injured children.
As her mom tells it, Jizelle returned from Camp with confidence and no longer feeling as the only person with burn scars. Now, she gleefully splashes at the beach, enjoys soccer, and is completely open about the accident and the marks on her legs.
“My scars don’t tell my story; they’re just scars,
and they don’t bother me anymore.”
Regrettably, accidental and significant burns like Jizelle’s continue to happen regularly and hurt our families, friends, and neighbors. Demand for burn survivor services never lets up, not in any season, not for any demographic or income-level, not even during a pandemic. The Burn Institute is sincerely grateful for your compassion and donations. We need your help to continue our mission and ability to provide unparalleled services to young people like Jizelle. Take pride in knowing a donation of any amount will help reduce burn injuries and empower survivors in our community.
Best wishes to you and yours in this holiday season and thank you for your consideration.
P.S. Donate to the Burn Institute in honor or in memory of someone you love, and we’ll send them a note announcing your contribution. You can donate online with a one-time or reoccurring gift!