Camp `I Am Me` helps empower young burn victims - New York News

Camp `I Am Me` helps empower young burn victims

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Its camp season and you know what that means: lots of laughter, lots of dancing, games and scars.

But, they don't define 17-year-old Jordan. He was 9 years old when his family's car was involved in an accident. Everybody escaped, except Jordan. He was sitting in the backseat and couldn't undue his seatbelt. Jordan suffered burns to over 75 percent of his body.

"I screamed my brother's name and he came back and got me out of the seatbelt," says Jordan. "He saved my life. He lost his."

A year later, Jordan started spending part of his summer at Camp "I Am Me." The burn camp is a judge-free zone for burn survivors ages 8-16 who have been hospitalized for severe burns.

Jordan and others like him say it's a lot of fun, but it's also a place where they can regain their self-esteem and confidence after being burned and scarred for life.

"It's free, you can be yourself," Jordan says. "You can show your scars and no one is staring at you."

There are 66 burn survivors at the camp, which is sponsored by the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance.

Besides camp counselors, the staff consists of doctors, nurses and volunteers. Some of them are available to the kids when they need psychological, physical and emotional healing.

Organizers say the weeklong camp session runs about $2,000 per camper, but it's free to the kids and their families, because even in this down economy, sponsors still support this worthy cause.

Camp "I Am Me" is located at YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside, IL near Fox Lake (32405 North Hwy. 12, Ingleside, IL 60041).

For more information: Camp "I Am Me" website.

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