For many years, the personal injury attorneys at Varnum have attended the annual conference of the World Burn Congress. Hosted by the Phoenix Society for burn survivors based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the conference is attended by medical professionals, burn prevention organizations, firefighters, and caregivers from the United States and from around the world. More significantly, the conference is widely attended by burn survivors and their families who have suffered life-altering injuries, not only to help them with the process of healing emotionally and psychologically, but also to connect them with other burn survivors and families who have experienced similar battles of trying to navigate through life after serious and catastrophic burns.
All attendees gain insight and knowledge from motivational speakers, presentations, workshops and from other burn survivors themselves, who share the stories about their traumatic event along with their journey to recover and to forge a new path in life as a burn survivor. In addition to the sharing, camaraderie and support offered throughout the conference, practical and specifically-designed products and services are offered to the burn survivors, ranging from makeup solutions, to clothing and transportation, to counseling.
Every year’s conference is outstanding and beyond inspirational. The 2016 conference held in Providence, Rhode Island, was particularly special because for the very first time, the Phoenix Society, in conjunction with Spectrum Health and sponsors like Varnum, presented the conference in a live stream event. This was step one in using technology to enable thousands more to experience the support offered through the conference without having to bear significant travel time and expense. The simulcast went off without a hitch. (In Grand Rapids, we even took part in a fun interactive event involving beach balls while our counterparts in Rhode Island did the same.)
As attendees of the conference for many years, we are deeply aware of the value this unique environment provides to caregivers and burn survivors, and we are honored to be part of sharing it across the country. The Phoenix Society plans to stream the conference live again next year and in more cities which have yet to be determined. A video providing a small sample of what this conference is all about and what is experienced each year is available on YouTube.
Varnum’s burn lawyers were honored to be asked to participate in this new program that has helped the Phoenix Society further their vision of “uniting the voice of the burn community across the globe to profoundly advance lifelong healing.” As a members of the Phoenix Society, we were excited and proud to have been involved in this new endeavor as we have witnessed many people’s lives changed after attending this conference.