"When I was 9, I dropped a bowl of Ramen Noodles in my lap. And I had jeans on and it was really hot. And I had to get skin graphs 'cause when they took the jeans off, the skin came with it."
The surgeries healed her physically. But her mental medicine came courtesy of a very special place.
"It means the world to us, you have no idea."
Camp "I'm Still Me' reminds pediatric burn survivors they are neither damaged by their scars... nor are they alone in their journeys to that realization.
"We go to this camp and you meet all these other people who're just like you are and it changes you."
It costs $10,000 to send one child to the week-long camp in Scottsville, TX. But, in its 12 year history no child or family as ever had to pay.
"Give them the opportunity to set down and be kids again."
Helping provide that opportunity is the Brother's Keepers Motorcycle Club, made up of active and former firefighters. Their yearly "Burn Run" fundraiser is this weekend at Lake Bistineau State Park.
And with her senior project, Carlea is doing her small part. "I'm Still Me" wristbands, selling for one dollar a piece.
"I've made $533 and I've only sold 300."
After graduating from Airline High School in a few weeks, she's off to Baylor University for a career as an occupational therapist... to help other burn survivors on their journeys.
"We're all the same. We're people and we have different skin. That's just what it is."
The BURN RUN is this weekend at Lake Bistineau State Park Area 1.
Friday, 6:00 pm
Saturday, 9:00 am
For full details go to www.BrothersKeepersMC.com
For more information on Camp I'm Still Me, go to www.campimstillme.com
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