Young Adult Retreat


This young adult weekend retreat provides young adults age 18 – 30 with an environment to challenge them physically and mentally. The weekend is packed with speakers who encourage the group to grow in all areas, mentally, spiritually and physically. This provides adult burn survivors with the opportunity to connect and build lasting relationships through a common bond.

The Prevention Fund

[cmsms_row data_width=”boxed” data_color=”default” data_padding_top=”0″ data_padding_bottom=”0″][cmsms_column data_width=”1/1″][cmsms_text animation_delay=”0″]

This is a fund established by the Firefighters Burn Fund designed to assist Fire Departments throughout Manitoba in the delivery of prevention programs in their respective communities. Each department knows what the fire prevention needs of its community are, but in some cases, does not have the funds to address them.

The Firefighters Burn Fund invites those Departments to submit an application for funding which would include an outline of the identified need, the source of supplies / goods that would help address their concerns, and an estimated cost.

The Firefighters Burn Fund will review each application and will consider funding the application in full, or in part (providing seed monies to help with the ultimate purchase of goods).

Applications should be submitted to the Secretary. The Firefighters Burn Fund may request further information in order to properly assess the request.

For more information, please contact…

Jack Hildebrand, Treasurer
204.348.2981

[/cmsms_text][/cmsms_column][/cmsms_row]

Bursary Program

[cmsms_row data_padding_bottom=”0″ data_padding_top=”0″ data_color=”default” data_width=”boxed”][cmsms_column data_width=”1/1″][cmsms_text animation_delay=”0″]

Each year the Firefighters Burn Fund sets aside funds for up to six $1000 bursaries.

Applicants are young adult burn survivors who were patients in the Children’s Hospital Burn Unit who are now going on to post-secondary education / trade school.

For more information, please contact…

Martin Johnson, 204.222.1574
Jim Abram, 204.299.9105

[/cmsms_text][/cmsms_column][/cmsms_row]

2016 Conference

The seventh Canadian Burn Survivors Conference was held in Winnipeg from June 15 to 18, 2016, and was hosted by the Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society.

Just over 180 burn survivors, family members, fire fighters and burn unit staff were in attendance. Attendees came from across the country, all the way from Victoria BC to Gander Newfoundland. Our opening reception featured a comedy Improv group and yummy finger food.


Keynote Speaker Justina Page, whose story as a burn survivor is gripping, inspirational and a testament to the power of hope in dark times.

Justina’s life was changed forever when fire swept through her home, March 7, 1999. The loss of her 22-month old twin son, Amos, the severe and lasting injuries of her other twin son, Benjamin, and her own devastating experience of third degree burns covering 55 percent of her body, affected the entire family.

Our second day featured Keynote Speaker Tyler Pelke who spoke about forgiveness. Tyler’s friend Curtis was murdered, while he was sexually assaulted, his throat slit, set on fire and left to die by the same attacker. He shared the compelling story of confronting his attacker in prison and finding peace and purpose in life through his journey of forgiveness and serving others.

Deborah Blaney Ward shared her courageous story of burn recovery and how she found the courage to write a book about her life, and gave very practical tips for others interested in writing their stories.

There were many other presentations by burn survivors on a variety of themes such as “Hope”, “Forgiveness”, “Navigating Online Burn Support” and “Dealing with a Change of Plans”.Click here to change this text

Medical presentations by Dr. Richard Haydey, dermatologist, clinical psychologist Sulaye Thakrar and Dr. Sarvesh Logsetty on the latest in research survivors cope with their physical as well as psychological injuries. Therapist James Bosch and nurse Cindy Rutter led a session about body image and sexuality following a burn injury, a very important topic.

Thursday evening, we were treated to special tours at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which was a highlight for many of our out of town attendees. One attendee stated that “This was incredible and great bonding time for the group.”

There was also a Young Adult program at Adrenaline Adventures where some of the younger burn survivors and a few others shared the physical challenges of a ropes course; they also had time to talk about their journeys as survivors.

The conference ended Saturday evening with a banquet dinner and dancing groups from the Folk Arts Council who offered multi-cultural entertainment; this was followed by an evening of dancing.

Thanks to all who attended in making this conference, entitled “Building a Supportive Community”, a huge success! Hope to see you all again at the next conference in 2018!

For more information, please email barb@hodgefamily.ca

2015 Conference



The Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society held its 18th annual Burn Survivor gathering on October 16 and 17, 2015 at the Canad Inns Polo Park Hotel in Winnipeg. The theme this year was “Milestones to Healing”.

133 burn survivors, their family members, Burn Unit staff, and firefighters from Manitoba and beyond attended this 2-day conference. We are very pleased that attendance was up from previous years.

Keynote speaker Dustin Wise opened the conference and shared his experiences of being burned in a cooking accident 9 years ago.
Dustin sustained 3rd degree burns and had to undergo numerous surgeries and years of medical attention. As Dustin’s physical scars began to heal, his mental and emotional scars remained raw. Dustin faced years of self-doubt and lacked self-acceptance of his injury’s non-physical scars. He was able to find healing and hope and promised himself that he would seek to empower other survivors. His story was very inspirational and he emphasized the power of healing through community. He led the group in several exercises to help people understand how far they have come in their own journeys, and offered encouragement to help us mark our own milestones to healing.


Our own Ed Wiebe shared his journey in a talk entitled “Overcoming Obstacles to Healing”. Ed was burned when working as a fire fighter in 2007 and suffered extensive burns to 70% of his body. Ed was able to humbly show how his courage, determination, and hard work have all contributed to allow him to return to work in the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

Denyse Blanco, Occupational Therapist working in child and adolescent mental health, led us all in a workshop on “Assertiveness Training”. We heard about “How to Move Forward when you are Stuck”, a well received session led by Tasha Szczerba and Kris Lischynski, who are Mental Health Consultation Liaison nurses at the Health Sciences Centre. We also had a medical presentation for Burn Unit staff on “The Art of Living Through the Seasons: Being Attuned to the Joys, Challenges and Mystery of Working in the Health Care Profession” by Daniel Barclay, a member of the Spiritual Health Services team at the Health Sciences Centre.

Four of our local survivors spoke as a panel, discussing their “New Normal” lives after being affected by a burn injury, or having a family member suffer a burn injury. Their struggles and triumphs were told from the heart and many in our audience related to their words and were moved.

Survivors were free to share their journeys with each other in several sharing circles, which are considered a most valuable healing experience. Family and friends of the survivors also had a chance to share with each other.

This year we had a special session for an afternoon, the Young Adult Program, which was attended by 7 young people and 2 facilitators. We are hoping to repeat this program next year.

The Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society would like to thank our sponsors: The Firefighters Burn Fund, the HSC Foundation, as well as Manitoba Hydro, Canad Inns, United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg Local 867, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba, Carter and Sullivan Orthodontics, Dr Greg Stewart of St Anne’s Road Chiropractic, Kromar Printing, the United Steelworkers Local 6166 and Marie Alkana for their generous contributions that made this event possible.

We are very excited that we have been selected to host the next Canadian Burn Survivors Conference. This important event will take place at the Delta Winnipeg hotel from June 15 to 18, 2016. For more information, please email chair-person Barbara-Anne Hodge at barb@hodgefamily.ca or visit our website at www.mamingwey.ca or go to the Canadian Burn Survivors website at canadianburnsurvivors.ca

2014 Scholarships


There were 3 successful recipient for the Thomas W. Hart Memorial Scholarship in 2014. We are very proud to recognize Jordan Furutani (Not pictured), Daniel Elias and Maria Cristina Laureano at the conference on October 25, 2014.

Congratulations to all! Pictured with our recipients are Hart family members John Hart, Hazel Booth, Ellora Hart and Loretta Gosnell.

2014 Conference


The Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society held its 17th annual Burn Survivor gathering on October 24 and 25, 2014 at the Canad Inns Polo Park Hotel. The theme this year was “Turn your Demons into Diamonds”.
The 2-day conference was attended by 116 burn survivors, their family members, Burn Unit staff, and firefighters from Manitoba and beyond.


Keynote speaker Spencer Beach started the conference by sharing his story of struggles and triumphs after sustaining a 95 % body surface area burn approximately 11 years ago. Spencer was a 3rd generation flooring installer and among the best in his field when he endured a horrific flash fire that left him permanently and severely scarred. After spending 14 months in the hospital and a year after that of intense rehabilitation, he has gone on to carve out a new path for his life.

He has now achieved such designations as a Construction Safety Officer through the Alberta Construction Safety Association, as well completed the University of Alberta’s, Faculty of Extensions, Occupational Health & Safety Certificate program. Spencer explained how he turned his personal demons into diamonds – instead of letting his anger at his situation get the better of him, he used it to motivate himself to regain and happy, healthy and safe life. Spencer was engaging and inspired many of the conference attendees to understand what true success looks like and to always look forward in recovery.

A group of local survivors were asked to speak on a panel to share their individual journeys since sustaining a burn injury, and explain how they had each turned their own demons into diamonds. This session generated a lot of excellent questions from the audience.

We also had a medical presentation on “The Benefits of Counseling” by Dr. Andrea Piotrowski, a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Sulaye Thakrar, PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manitoba, presented an update on his burn research focusing on how burn survivors experience, make future plans in, and find meaning while healing from a burn injury particularly through societal pressures and influences such as their gendered socialization.

In order to help those who are interested in journaling or use writing as a therapeutic tool, Donna Besel of the Manitoba Writers Guild led a session “How to use your Pen to Find Meaning”. Donna offered great tips and examples of how creative writing can empower people to heal from trauma and enhance their relationships.
Survivors were free to share their journeys with each other in several sharing circles, which are considered a most valuable healing experience. Family and friends of the survivors also had a chance to share with each other.

The Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society would like to thank our sponsors: The Firefighters Burn Fund, the HSC Foundation, as well as Manitoba Hydro, Canad Inns, United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg Local 867, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba, Dr Greg Stewart of St Anne’s Road Chiropractic, Wieler and Wieler Certified General Accountants, the United Steelworkers Local 6166, Marie Alkana and the HSC Executive for their generous contributions that made this event possible.

null

2013 Conference

The Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society held its 16th annual Burn Survivor gathering on October 25 and 26, 2013 at the Canad Inns Polo Park Hotel. The theme this year was “Together we are Stronger”.

This was our best attended local conference with over 130 burn survivors, family members, HSC staff, and firefighters from Manitoba and beyond attending the 2 day sessions.

The keynote speaker, Liz Dideon Hess, is a burn survivor who brings valuable credibility to her job as a clinical social worker working with burn patients and their families at the LeHigh Valley Hospital Burn Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. “Using my own story is a very powerful way to connect with new patients who often can’t believe there’s a life after a bad burn. Seeing somebody else like me with a major burn injury who has a job, is happily married, comfortable and confident can be really inspiring.” Liz shared her story of burn recovery at our conference and also led an interactive session on “Putting the U in Support”. Her moving story and open and honest nature made a huge impact on the listeners as they related to her struggles and triumphs.

One particularly powerful session centered on the importance of a support network for not just the survivor, but also the entire family. This session started with a burn survivor sharing his story and then three family members (a sibling, a son and a spouse) discussed their personal experiences as they watched their respective loved ones journey through hospitalization and recovery beyond the burn. Their experiences resonated with many survivors and family members in our audience.

We also had several medical presentations including a session on “Improving Sleep after Injury” by Dr. Norah Vincent, a leading expert on how to improve sleep habits; a discussion on “The Role of Spirituality in Healing” by Spiritual Health Specialist Daniel Barclay, and a presentation on “Coping Emotionally After a Burn” by psychiatric nurses Kris Lischynski and Tasha Szczerba.

Survivors were free to share their journeys with each other in several sharing circles, which are considered a most valuable healing experience. Family and friends of the survivors also had a chance to share with each other.
The Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society again hosted a half-day Children’s program for children who have been burned as well as their siblings and children of parents who are burned. Twelve children attended it this year.

The Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society would like to thank our sponsors: The Firefighters Burn Fund, the HSC Foundation, as well as Manitoba Hydro, Canad Inns, Bio-Med Sciences Inc United Steelworkers Local 6166, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba, CityPlace Orthodontics, the Manitoba Pork Council and Power Vac Services Ltd for their generous contributions that made this event possible.

2012 Conference

Triumph in Recovery:
Focusing on You!
October 26th & 27th, 2012
Canad Inns Polo Park Hotel
1405 St. Mathews Ave., Winnipeg Manitoba

Key Note Speaker: James Bosch

James Bosch knows a few things about burn injuries and thriving beyond them. At the age of 8 months he was severely burned by scalding water when a humidifier fell in his crib. Since that day, burn surgery and the challenges scars add to emotional development, were intricate parts of his life. He has taken this experience and used it to help others accept and heal past their burn injuries. James has years of experience working with burn survivors and their families, is a national speaker and educator on burn recovery and holds a masters in counseling psychology.

2012 Scholarships

In 2012, there were 3 successful recipients of the Thomas W. Hart Memorial Scholarship.

We are very proud to have recognized Maria Cristina Laureano, Ashley Wilson, and Raphael Laureano at the conference on October 27.

We congratulate these special people and wish them well in their studies.

Pictured here are our scholars with members of the Hart family. Left to right are Ryan Hart, Ellora Hart, Tom Booth, John Hart, Karen Hart, Hazel Booth, Maria Cristina Laureano, Ashley Wilson, and Raphael Laureano.