By Maria Cristina Laureano
In less than two weeks, the launch of a local burn survivors website has received almost 10,000 hits and local and national media attention.
On February 9th Maria Cristina Laureano launched her website, After the Cocoon (afterthecocoon.com), which documents the stories of 10 burn survivors, including Laureano’s own story of becoming a burn survivor at nine-months-old when she received severe burns after being scaled by boiling water.
Laureano was inspired to create this resource by her own personal search for burn survivor stories and not finding anything detailed.
“I went through my entire life not knowing another burn survivor. I wanted to learn more about other people’s experiences to see how they would compare to my own,” says Laureano.
Laureano also created After the Cocoon for her graduation project for the Creative Communications program at Red River College. On the website, burn survivors not only talk about their burn injuries, but their lives afterwards, such as returning to work or getting involved in the burn survivors community.
“Whenever you hear about someone getting burned in the news, you don’t really hear about what happens to them. I think this would be really useful for recovering burn survivors or other burn survivors who’ve never gone through burn support,” says Laureano.
The launch, which was held at the Fire Fighters Museum, had speakers from the burn community (Barbara-Anne Hodge, Chair of the Mamingwey Burn Survivors Community and Martin Johnson, Chair of the Firefighters Burn Fund), a photo exhibition and tours of the museum. John Hart, who received severe burns and had to have his right arm and leg amputated due to a workplace accident and was a participant of the project, emceed the event.
The After the Cocoon website launch would like to thank its generous sponsors (the Fire Fighters Museum, the Firefighters Burn Fund, Mamingwey Burn Survivors Society, Steve Burton Photography and Starbucks Coffee Company), door prize sponsors, volunteers, supporters and the burn survivors that courageously and selflessly shared their stories on the website.
Photos by Maria Cristina Laureano and Stephen Burton