Bay News Community Morro Bay

Burn Survivors to Hit the Beach

Burn survivors will hit the beach in Morro Bay this weekend for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s Surf Camp, the Foundation announced.

The Burn Foundation provides burn and fire prevention and safety services all over the state, along with programs for burn survivors, which includes the Champ Camp in summer, where burn survivors can spend a week at summer camp with fellow survivors.

On Sept. 14-16 more than 20 child burn survivors from as far away as Oakland, Fresno and Pasadena will take part in surfing, kayaking and games, according to Kai Levenson-Cupp, a community outreach intern with the Burn Foundation.

“This will be the 11th year of fun for young burn survivors from all over the state,” Levenson-Cupp said, “with all surfboards, wetsuits, and kayaks used being in-kind donations from various local businesses and entities including Wavelengths Surf Shop, Kayak Horizons, 3ink Screen Printing, Estero Bay Surf Club, Morro Bay Fire Department, and Morro Bay Parks and Rec. Department. Volunteers donate their time to teach campers how to surf, resulting in a memorable weekend every year.”

The event is a way to show young burn survivors that their scars don’t stop them from enjoying life and the ocean.

It’s a lesson Levenson-Cupp has learned. “As a baby,” Levenson-Cupp said, “I was burned by hot tea and spent 3 weeks in the hospital as a result. I’ve been attending AARBF events for 9-years now and am proud of my scars, but when I went on my first trip at age 7, I was ashamed.

“It’s because of trips like this one that young people with burns have realized that their scars don’t have to hold them back and that they are survivors, not victims.”

To learn more about the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, which also benefits from the Annual Firefighter Relay, www.aarbf.org.

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