Megan Geerling, Phoenix Society Development Director, was recently following up with a friend, Lyle Sathoff, burn survivor and auto racing enthusiast. His response and enthusiasm for sharing awareness of the Phoenix Society and his passion for auto-racing was both uplifting and pointedly honest.
Megan shared their dialogue with us, and asked for permission to share with all of you.
Megan’s note to the office:
“Thought I’d share a great story; Lyle became my new friend last summer when he called to discuss putting our logo (Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors) on his race car. He and his dad covered the body shop costs themselves. We’ve kept in touch and he just sent some photos. I asked him to share a little about his experience and the feedback he’s received.
His email below is a testament to how the SOAR program helps survivors thrive and in turn become our best advocates.”………….
Megan thanked Lyle for his continuing efforts to spread awareness about the Phoenix Society and for his support of other burn survivors.
Lyle’s email response…
”You’re very welcome. It’s something I enjoy doing. I had some of the local people that followed my recovery closely tell me that they are happy to see me doing so well and happy to see I could take something like that and turn it into a positive thing and help spread awareness. I told them how I met a burn survivor that is part of the SOAR program through the Phoenix Society that helped me see that things would be fine after the hospital. I’m not going to lie I refused to talk to her a couple of times I felt like I had a lot to figure out on my own first but I was really glad that I talked to her in the end. I had a teacher at a school 18 miles away from my hometown contact me after hearing from one of her students about me. She saw the Phoenix Society logo on the car and asked if I would be willing to talk to her classes about my experience and I was happy to do so. It was a great experience for me and the students.
I was able to race my car weekly at the Fairmont Raceway in Fairmont, MN. I made a few appearances at the Jackson Speedway in Jackson, MN and the Redwood Falls Speedway in Redwood, MN. I would love to travel and race it is my dream….”
Turns out, Lyle’s promoter at the Fairmont Raceway saw the Phoenix Society logo on his car and shared with him that she is acquainted with Sara Bazey, Phoenix Society board member, SOAR peer supporter, and Mrs. International 2012.
It is a reminder that peer support is vital to a burn survivor’s recovery and the ability to enjoy life as it was meant to be. It is by uniting our voices that we will be heard. Thank you, Lyle, for spreading awareness of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and your support of burn survivors. Our best wishes on your racing endeavors!