The Cause: Burn Fund provides much-needed support for trauma victims and their families“Rather than just being a survivor, you become able to thrive again in life.”
Stasi Manser was just a child when, in 1969, she woke up early to the sound of her baby sister wanting to have her morning bottle. Rather than wake her mom, Manser decided to prepare the bottle herself and sneak a cup of hot chocolate for herself too. She pulled a chair closer to the stove to reach the cocoa powder in a cupboard above when the nightgown she was wearing contacted the flame under the pot. Within seconds, she had sustained severe burns to over 90 per cent of her body. Initially, doctors told her mom that Manser would not survive. She had to learn to walk again and would go on to endure countless surgeries involving skin grafting and reconstruction over the ensuing 20 years, many of the procedures taking place in health centres in faraway cities. There was little in the way of services for Manser during those difficult early years, so when she was introduced to the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund in 2012, she was overwhelmed by the organization’s support for survivors. Last year, it opened the Burn Fund Centre at 3891 Main Street. It’s a home away from home for anyone from B.C. or the Yukon who needs to travel to Vancouver for emergency medical treatment due to burn and major trauma injuries, as well as patients in discharge transition or returning for follow-up care. “In my case, the Burn Fund Centre would have made such a huge difference,” Manser says. “I travelled thousands of miles for treatment and was separated from my family a lot of the time over two or three years. Having felt that aloneness my whole life, it’s so close to my heart to be able to share with other people and help them understand that life is okay after a burn trauma. “Rather than just being a survivor, you become able to thrive again in life,” she says.
The BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund recently opened the Burn Fund Centre on Main Street. The centre is a home away from home for anyone from B.C. or the Yukon who needs to travel to Vancouver for emergency medical treatment for burn and major trauma injuries.
More than 800 children and adults are admitted to the burn, trauma and plastics units at VGH and BC Children’s Hospital every year. Patients generally stay at least a month, sometimes longer. Throughout such challenging times, family members need affordable, nearby accommodation so that they can spend time at the hospital with their loved one and be able to reach them quickly if necessary. Once patients leave the hospital, they often require complex outpatient care. Then, too, they need affordable, close accommodation that is conducive to healing. The Burn Fund Centre addresses the critical shortfall in suitable accommodation for burn and trauma survivors and their loved ones. In addition to private suites with patios, the bright space has a spacious common kitchen, shared living room with comfy seating and a TV, and conference room that doubles as a comfortable spot for survivors’ yoga and peer-to-peer support groups. “It’s a place for survivors to be around other people who are going through similar things,” says BCPFFA Burn Fund executive director Lisa Lacamell. “Families share experiences and support each other and realize they’re not alone.” The centre also acts as the headquarters for the BCPFFA Burn Fund, which runs prevention programs and much more. B.C. firefighter locals and members have raised $1.3 million toward the centre through payroll deductions and other fundraising activities. However, the need to sustain the centre and the vital services it provides is ongoing, as is the need to purchase crucial equipment. The Hometown Heroes Lottery supports the BCPFF Burn Fund, which also runs the annual Burn Camp for young survivors.
The Grand Prize Home on Maple Street in White Rock offers gorgeous design and a welcoming, warm interior – plus a rooftop deck with an ocean view, a first for Heroes Lottery.
The hottest ticket in town, the 2017 Heroes Lottery has six magnificent grand prize choices. One is a spectacular oceanview home — a first for the Hometown Heroes Lottery — in White Rock, with vistas of Mount Baker and Semiahmoo Bay. The breathtaking 4,570-square-foot, five-bedroom home has a rooftop deck and 11-foot ceilings in the great room, kitchen and dining area — perfect for entertaining. A smart design, which includes the option of having a one-bedroom suite, also makes it ideal for growing families and those who work from home. With over $120,000 in furnishings, electronics and interior design, the bright, peaceful home is part of a package worth more than $2.5 million. Of the six grand prize choices, others include a sunny four-bedroom Ocean Park home in a $2.3-million package with luxury cars, plus cash and more, and a furnished three-bedroom Sooke Pointe surfside yacht suite — ideal for whale watching — with cars and $1 million cash in a package worth $2.3 million. Then there’s the option to take $2.1 million in tax-free cash — the lottery’s biggest cash prize ever. Other highlights of the 2017 Heroes Lottery include B.C.’s biggest 50/50 Plus draw that can grow to over $2.1 million; Daily Cash Plus prize winners each day from Aug. 12 to Nov. 20; bonuses; and much more. Tickets are a fantastic deal: three for $75, six for $100, and 20 for $275. Don’t wait: last year’s Hometown Heroes Lottery sold out early. Order online at heroeslottery.com; call 604-648-4376 or 1-866-597-4376; or buy any London Drugs.
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf the Hometown Heroes Lottery. It was originally published on The Vancouver Sun and The Province‘s websites.