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  • Writer's pictureMara Madsen

Child burn survivors learn to thrive at Camp Gung Ho!

This summer, Children's Burn Foundation (CBF) held its annual Camp Gung Ho for child burn survivors and their siblings. From surf lessons in Malibu and a pool party at a Calabasas residence to days of exploration at Universal Studios and the California Science Center, this year's camp helped child burn survivors build confidence, bond with one another, forget the stress of medical procedures and just be kids!

Each year, siblings are welcomed to participate in all camps, and parents are encouraged to join the annual beach day! CBF focuses on comprehensive healing for the entire family because the stress and trauma of a burn injury impact not only the survivor but their loved ones as well.

Camp helps young burn survivors like Diego, his brother Dylan and his mother, Grace. Diego was only a year old when he grabbed a bowl of scalding hot soup and dropped it on himself. He suffered from a severe burn on 80% of his chest. His mother, Grace, spoke about the incident and her painful memories. "It was one of the worst days of my life. Every year on the anniversary of the day that Diego was burned, I would break down in tears and remember exactly how I felt that day. But going to CBF's support group and being able to share my feelings about the accident has helped me tremendously." She went on to describe the positive impact CBF programs and camps have had on Diego and how they have helped him move past his trauma and believe in himself and the bright future he has ahead.

Similarly, his brother Dylan described how CBF had helped him with his self-esteem. "CBF helped me with my separation anxiety. Before, I could not go anywhere without my mom. But now I can. I have learned to try new things -like surfing on my own!"

Thanks to YOU, CBF can create magical memories for child burn survivors each summer at no cost to families. To give the gift of camp, click here. To learn more about how you can volunteer at camp or enroll your child, email

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