“My name is Jenna. It was Memorial day, and my mom and dad were getting ready for a cookout. I was three-years-old at the time.
Somehow the gas can in the garage got knocked over and leaked underneath the water heater. It started a flash fire.
Over 95% of my body was burned with 3rd and 4th degree burns.
My doctors and nurses did not expect me to make it through the night, but I survived.
It’s hard to believe it has been 15 years and 70 surgeries later. Through it all, my parents told me how hard I fought, and how I stayed strong and kept coming back! I am doing most everything I dreamed in my life.”
Jenna is like any other teenage girl, playing sports, going to prom, and having fun. From those first few wobbly steps she took after getting out of the Shriner Burn hospital, to her fancy footwork on the soccer field, Jenna is a walking and running miracle.
“Its been a real and scary roller coaster! I’ve had ups and downs. My focus is on what’s ahead for me as I get older.”
Jenna is taking almost everything with an openhearted attitude of gratitude, and so is her family; but she says what keeps her going are the friends she’s made along the way.
“I’ve gotten used to the stares, because I know it’s what’s on the inside that counts. But at our burn camps, I feel completely ‘normal.’ It’s like we are not so burned. We’re our own society pretty much.”
“I’d like to start a burn camp of my own in parts of the world that may not have one. That way I can motivate and inspire other burn survivors just like me!”
There’s something about living in a state of of gratitude, counting our blessings one by one.
The trick is to take those blessings and bless others like Jenna.
If you need some direction in how to help, feel free to contact me thru ryanshines.com.