At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston, Team Brave recently celebrated its first birthday. Team Brave is a community re-entry program that challenges our patients to face their fears, set realistic goals for themselves and of course, have fun! Started in 2014 by senior child life specialist/recreation therapist Christen Bradbury, Team Brave involves weekly outings that are designed to provide physical and psychosocial therapy in a community setting where patients learn the skills to cope with their injuries. Team Brave is funded by the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation and firefighters volunteer to attend each outing.
In the past year, dozens of Boston patients have attended Team Brave events. They have gone rock climbing, kayaking, mini golfing and even taken a Zumba class. Every event is fun, but every event presents new challenges for the participants. Some patients have to find new ways to participate because of a physical disability. For others, the challenge is being confident in public where people might stare at their scars or ask questions about how they were injured. With Shriners Hospital staff and the firefighters by their side, the Boston patients get the support and skills they need to be brave and succeed. Team Brave’s motto is “Engage. Encourage. Empower.”
To celebrate the incredible strides Team Brave members have made in the past year, Christen, or Coach as she is called by her teammates, wrote and produced a video that captures the essence of the program. She compiled a year’s worth of memories, milestones and smiles that show what it truly means to be brave.