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World’s Largest Burn Survivor Conference to Take Place October 2-5th

Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors will welcome over 1,000 members of the burn community for the 31st Phoenix World Burn Congress in Anaheim, California

Grand Rapids, Aug. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Every year, more than 486,000 burn injuries receive medical treatment in the U.S., due to recent medical advances, more than 96% of those treated in a burn center will survive (American Burn Association.) Understanding that survival is not enough, Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, the leading national non-profit dedicated to empowering burn survivors, will welcome over 1,000 members of the burn survivor community and their families for the Phoenix World Burn Congress, October 2-5, 2019 in Anaheim, California.

The Phoenix World Burn Congress, which is the world’s largest gathering of the burn community, is a life-changing event that connects burn survivors, their families, medical professionals, and first responders to share stories, provide support, and increase knowledge of burn recovery. The conference has had a huge impact on past attendees, including Tony Gonzalez, who was involved in a propane gas explosion while on vacation. He was burned on over 95% of his body and given 0% to live.

“As difficult as the physical healing was, the psychological and emotional transfer from the safety of the hospital cocoon back home to my new normal and reintegration into society was the largest hurdle of my journey,” said Gonzalez. “Gaining respect and acceptance that our physical differences do not define us and having social confidence is a challenge the burn community continues to face; the World Burn Congress brings survivors together to support each other on our physical and emotional journeys.”

Understanding that there is now a larger demand for long-term burn recovery resources, Phoenix Society has built a community that supports lifelong healing for burn survivors. Since 1977, the organization has developed a variety of national programs that help promote healing physically, emotionally and socially. The Phoenix SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery) program, which provides peer support for burn survivors, is currently in over 70 hospitals across North America, giving 12,800 patients access to local support.

This year’s Phoenix World Burn Congress will feature powerful keynote speeches from burn survivors and those who have overcome difficult life challenges. Israel “DT” Del Toro, a burn survivor who received burn injuries over the majority of his body when serving in the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan. Senior Master Sgt. Israel “DT” Del Toro’s Humvee rolled over a buried pressure-plate mine and exploded, severing most of his fingers and left him in a coma for nearly three months. Only a few short years after his life –threatening accident, DT achieved his goal of becoming the first 100-percent combat disabled Air Force technician to re-enlist, proving once again what one can achieve with steadfast tenacity and determination. In his speech, DT seeks to eliminate the stigma associated with disabilities, and prove that with perseverance, no obstacles are insurmountable.

“Phoenix World Burn Congress is a testament to the transformational power of community,” said Amy Acton, a burn survivor and Executive Director of the Phoenix Society. “Many attendees have never met another survivor outside the hospital, and there is nothing more powerful than the moment someone meets a person further down the road to recovery and realizes there is life, love, and happiness after a burn.”

A Walk of Remembrance will be held on October 2, 2019 to mark the beginning of the conference and to honor those lost to burn injuries.

Registration for the Phoenix World Burn Congress can be completed here. Those who are unable to attend or travel to Anaheim for the conference have the option to attend virtually. The virtual experience can be live streamed to a computer, smartphone or tablet.

About Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors

In the U.S., 40,000 people are hospitalized with burn injuries each year. Burn survivors and their loved ones face a lifelong journey of physical, emotional, and social recovery. Connecting with others who have walked a similar path is essential to optimal recovery and social reintegration. Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is the leading national non-profit dedicated to empowering burn survivors and their families at all points of recovery. Since 1977, Phoenix Society has worked with survivors, families, healthcare professionals, and first responders to support burn recovery, improve the quality of burn care, and prevent burn injuries. For more information, visit


Kim Bode
8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications

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