by Jody Spear and Kelly Meyer –
MASON CITY – The Mason City Fire Department ans Jacob Schweitzer, Secretary/Treasurer of the International Association of Fire Fighters, hosted a group of 45 young burn survivors from the ages of 5 to 18, Sunday. They provided a barbecue lunch for this group, as they were passing through Mason City on their way to Lake Okoboji and Miracle Burn Camp.
Lisa Miguel, a Sr. Child Life Specialist, said, “Last night we had a sleepover, the 45 kids slept in sleeping bags on the gym floor and just had fun, playing games, shooting hoops and watching movies on the big screen. We woke up early and came here. We’ve been blessed to have Mason City offer and fix us a fine meal”.
Miguel’s job, as she described it, “My role is pretty intimate with the kids while they are on the burn unit. I work with them, to help them cope and do things like change their bandages.”
Manuela Schriver is a sixteen year old young lady, “At seven years old I became a third degree burn survivor. While I was at the hospital, I was informed of a wonderful burn camp. I’ve made some awesome friends. Camp has made a huge impact on all of our lives. It’s a wonderful experience and camp is just great for all burn victims.”
“Not all the kids are burn survivors,” explained Mackenze Kane, a RN and MSN Staff Nurse in the Department of Nursing at the University of Iowa Health Care Hospital, “but have had other injuries. It’s really great to see them come together and have that support and know that there is someone else that has those same scars and to know–It’s okay! Life Goes On.”
“They are amazing and strong. They are role models for a lot of people,” said Kane.
The lunch that was served was donated by many people and businesses. “The hamburgers were from Wendy’s, the buns from Wonder Bread on North Federal, Nancy Lloyd donated hotdogs, pudding was donated by Kraft and HyVee East gave gift cards for us to purchase what ever else we needed, like the watermelon and condiments,” said Schweitzer.
Our history, our purpose, our goals, our mission, as described by St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation.
The Foundation was founded in 1993 through the efforts and partnership of dedicated nurses at the St. Luke’s Burn Center and the Sioux City Professional Fire Fighters IAFF Local #7.
It was founded with the express purpose of reducing the number of injuries and deaths associated with burn trauma in Sioux City, Iowa and the surrounding communities. St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation helped purchase the Children’s Fire Safety House used by the Sioux City Fire Department and visited by thousands of school children annually.
The nurses and fire fighters also felt a need to start a local burn camp that children with burns from the Siouxland area could attend annually. St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation partnered with Camp Foster YMCA on East Lake Okoboji in 1995 and Miracle Burn Camp was born.
In 2004, St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation began sponsoring a local SOAR (Survivors Offering assistance in Recovery) program to provide peer support for local burn survivors. SOAR is a program developed by The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Inc.
In 2007, efforts began to expand the service area of St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation. Our goal was to grow beyond the city limits of the founding organization, to be a state and regional entity. While this has been a slow process we have lots of goals for the future so we can better serve the community at large.
Our mission to reduce burn injuries and mortality through education and research, and to assist burn survivors and their families in maintaining a high quality of life is strong and our members are dedicated to those living in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.