Becoming a neonatal nurse has been a lifelong dream for Chelsea. She has always felt she was meant to work with children. An educational grant from the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, provided by a donation from AlloSource, will help her work towards her career goal.
When she was six years old, Chelsea spilled hot tea and burned her legs. Though at times it was difficult for her to walk, her injury inspired her to work harder and become stronger.
“I feel as though my injury has transformed me into a better person and taught me never to take anything for granted,” she said. “My scars remind me every day that it could have been much worse and everything happens for a reason.”
Chelsea has always been passionate about working with children. She coached a recreational basketball league for third and fourth grade girls, which provided the perfect avenue for her athletic abilities and her desire to work with children.
Chelsea also served as a camp counselor for kids aged five to twelve. She excelled at bringing out each child’s individual personality and strength.
In addition to her burn injury, Chelsea also suffered two ACL tears. She endured two separate surgeries a year apart to fix the damage caused by basketball injuries. After each surgery, she completed one year of physical therapy before she could get back in the game.
She faced her recovery from her ACL surgeries with the same tenacity her recovery from a burn required. Chelsea did not let her injuries stop her from playing the sport she loved, and she challenged herself to do better.
Calvin, Chelsea’s twin brother, is also attending college this year. She is honored to have received an educational grant from the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors because it will help her family with the cost of her education.
Chelsea is attending Dominican College in Orangeburg, New York to pursue her nursing career. She knows that becoming a nurse will require dedication, but she is prepared to work hard to make it happen.
“My injury is something I will remember for the rest of my life, but it has taught me more than it has taken away,” said Chelsea. “I would never want anyone else to go through what I have been through, but if they did, I would hope it would benefit them in the end. When you can learn from a difficult situation it is a whole lot easier to deal with.”
Story contributed with permission by AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of skin, bone, and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures and the world’s largest processor of cellular bone allografts. AlloSource has pledged a 10-year gift to support Phoenix Society’s Phoenix Education Grant program for burn survivor students pursuing their post-secondary education. AlloSource blog: http://www.allograftpossibilities.org