Trumpeting Our Triumphs
My husband Mike is an amputee burned veteran. I am an injured veteran and also his caretaker for what he needs help with. The Moonlight Fund has been so beneficial to us. The retreats allow us to reconnect with one another while taking a break from the medical appts and hectic every days. They allow us to connect with others; to see and hear that they are going thru similar struggles. Its a comfort to know we’re not alone. The retreats also allow us all to pass on burn-related information and to discuss ideas and changes that are needed for burn survivors and families. For my own injures and hectic life as a caretaker, the retreats nature and animal therapy are an absolutely need. I also love that the professional guests that are part of the retreats, broaden my knowledge of different care-taking techniques for my husband and even for myself.
Besides the retreats, Moonlight Fund is helping us to receive a much needed adjustable bed. Mike has sleep apnea and breathing issues that resulted from the fire of his IED blast in Iraq. He has to have an elevated head position for sleep. My sustained injuries and spinal fusion leaves me having to sleep with an elevated knee/leg position. We are unable to get proper sleep from lying flat on a regular bed. The Moonlight Fund reached out to a connecting organization, to help us with getting the adjustable bed.
Moonlight Fund brings burn survivors what is often hard to find or obsolete in non-burn specific, disabled organizations. Celia is so remarkable for the opportunities, the care and the connections that she is bringing to our lives as burn survivors and family members. I hope many others follow her strive!!
Moonlight Fund has been a godsend to our family! When my husband came home wounded in 2012, we had no idea what we were doing. I happened upon a ladies day at Fort Sam and received some beautiful home furnishings. We were also told of a retreat at Purple Sage Ranch that was coming up. We applied and were selected to go. It was so beautiful and relaxing for us and our five children. To be able to reconnect as a family was amazing.
We were then invited back several more times and overtime the whole family looks forward to it. We also bought a new home a year ago and Celia helped provide furniture for it. We have received beautiful rugs, and other odds and ends we needed. I can’t thank Moonlight Fund enough for all they do and all they have done!
On March 01, 2007, I was critically injured in a helicopter crash in Iraq. I lost my left leg above the knee. I had 9 fractured vertebra in my back and a crushed pelvis. The medical outlook for me was not good. After an extensive recovery and rehabilitation process and doctors telling me that I would never fly again, I was at a loss, until I met Henry and Celia with the Moonlight Fund. When they found out my love and desire of aviation, they helped me get back into the cockpit of a helicopter by funding my commercial flight instructor rating. I am one of very few amputees in the world that is certified to instruct helicopter pilots. This was the single most important therapeutic process in my recovery. This has led me on to start a new career, working for the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller. I still continue to fly helicopters and airplanes. I owe it all to the Moonlight Fund.
I want to say Thank You to the Moonlight Fund for believing in me and helping me to pursue my dreams. This is one of the greatest organizations there is. It helps the great men and women that fight for this country carry on with their dreams after tragedy. It helps wounded soldiers conquer depression. The fund assists with the depression and general feeling of loss following our life changing accidents.
On August 12, 1998 Cassandra Taylor found out that life can be changed in an instant when she survived a plane crash and fiery explosion that ensued on impact. She sustained deep third degree burns to 73% of her body. She spent the next 73 days using the tenacity and fortitude that had brought her success as a single parent of 3 and a career in the legal field. She was transported to the burn unit at Brook Army Medical Center and found herself a civilian in a military facility. While her family and caregivers were expecting her death daily, she fought back and defied all odds. She underwent 32 surgeries in 73 days for skin grafts and to save her limbs. During her near death, she found solace in her deceased mother telling her she needed to return to raise her 3 children. This gave her the needed strength and courage to fight back and cheat death.
During her rehab in Austin, Texas in 2000 she met a physical, medicine and rehabilitation doctor while still trying to close my scars 2 years post burn. I felt a calling to help him realize his dream of bringing a great alternative to surgery for ligament repair to the world. I have blazed a trail in creating what I need in my personal and professional life to nurture me and continue to be productive.
As a medical practice manager she can help many who have experienced traumatic events and have the psychological, emotional, physical and economic effects to deal with. In 6 short years in this career, she has risen to the top of her field culminating with her being named one of the top ten practice managers across the county for PAHCOM in 2005. This year she continued to create what she needed to educate and nurture her spirit in her career by founding the Austin Area Practice Management Association. A non-profit group for practice managers to receive continuing education and networking opportunities.
When our world changed in October 2011 we were not sure where we were going to live or if we could ever make our children feel at home again. I was burned in a roadside attack and was sent here to San Antonio, Texas for treatment. My treatment is for a lifetime and since we lived in California we decided it would be better to move here. We were introduced to Moonlight Fund in 2012.
We were invited to a retreat to relax and enjoy time with our family. We were nervous as I don’t feel comfortable around many people anymore and I wasn’t sure how my children were going to feel. Well we loved it. We have gone back every 6 months and it’s something our kids looked forward to. Moonlight Fund has become part of our family. They have given us emotional and financial support. They helped me receive my own track chair so that I can go hunting and fishing with my boys. They gave my daughter a beautiful bed so she didn’t have to sleep on just a mattress anymore. This organization has blessed us with many things but their love and friendship means the most.