What 10,000 Burn Survivors Have Taught Me about Human Nature

My journey caring for burn survivors began in 1998. After some time volunteering on the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center, I realized the need for nonprofit support for burn survivors and their families. It was a humble gesture, cofounding Moonlight Fund. I had no desire to change lives, help thousands, or make it my life’s mission. I was leading a comfortable life and truly was not in need of another “project.” Yet, here I am, twenty-one years later, living and breathing this life’s work of mine.

Before founding the Fund, I had a career, material possessions, and status, all of which were important to me. I never dreamed of a life of servitude, nor did I desire it. My work with burn survivors and their families has changed me and those in my life for the better. It has not been an easy road, watching the pain and suffering of so many, particularly during the war. My heart broke repeatedly and there were many days I thought of quitting.  This mission was more than I could bear, and I was sure it would soon break me.  I have also seen miracles and been a part of many remarkable journeys with these burn survivors, whom I now refer to as “my people.”

My seven-day work weeks (unpaid) are the most fulfilling of my life. I do this to raise the necessary funds to help these souls regain some semblance of life. Although Moonlight Fund is a blessing to many, I can’t help but feel personally blessed by this work I do. It’s not just the money they require; they need someone to listen, to care, and a hug at the end of the day. The families are also in need and have become like family to me, something I never expected to happen, yet, I am grateful to have these souls in my life for they have shown me how to live, with true humility.

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