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  • Writer's pictureMara Madsen

Survivor Spotlight - How One Child Burn Survivor Learned To Thrive

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Kenny Huynh is a thirty-one-year-old Asian American burn survivor and successful professional photographer. Kenny has traveled the world, capturing people's stories through the art of photography. His work includes portraits, fashion photography, event coverage and social media campaigns, as well as volunteering at Children's Burn Foundation, a nonprofit organization near and dear to his heart.

When Kenny was only seven years old, he tripped on the cord of a hot pot and spilled the scalding water onto his arm and thigh. It only took an instant for his life to be changed forever by a severe burn injury. He was rushed to the hospital, where he spent the next two and a half months and underwent ten skin graft surgeries. Kenny describes the injury as the most painful experience of his life.

Following the accident, Kenny's mother discovered Children’s Burn Foundation’s Camp Gung Ho for young burn survivors. The summer camp focuses on going beyond physical healing from a burn injury and emphasizes emotional care. "Our skin is a huge part of our identity. We don't want children to feel their burned skin defines who they are and what they can become. The camp serves as an opportunity for burn survivors to interact and bond with children who have been through similar trauma," described one camp leader.

At Camp Gung Ho, Kenny felt a newfound sense of camaraderie and joy. It was the first time Kenny met other burn survivors and had the opportunity to forget the stress of medical treatments. Additionally, Kenny discovered his love of photography at camp. He received his first disposable camera to capture memories of the days full of friendship. Photography and the art of storytelling soon became his passion.

Throughout his career, Kenny has worked on campaigns for famous brands and companies and has captured important moments in history. One of the most rewarding jobs of Kenny's career has been giving back to Children's Burn Foundation. As a volunteer, Kenny has provided child burn survivors with the same hope that the staff provided him as a young boy. This past summer, Kenny documented Camp Gung Ho and shared with the child burn survivors how his love of photography was ignited at camp, encouraging them to chase their dreams and not let their scars define them.

"Photography keeps me happy and gives me purpose. I will always be grateful to the Children's Burn Foundation. I choose to volunteer to show other burn survivors that they can still achieve anything they put their minds to, even with a scar. A kid who suffered a terrible accident at a young age can still have a thriving and fulfilling life. I'm grateful to CBF for their support and love. I'm never alone and that means a lot to me." - Kenny Huynh


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