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News Thursday, October 09, 2014

Connecting brave kids with local heroes

A special Shriners Hospital Boston program generously funded by The Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation

On October 3rd, patients and staff from Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston, along with firefighters from the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation (BFFBF) who volunteer their time for Team Brave, took a trip to MetroRock gym in Everett, MA for a fun afternoon of rock climbing. The trip was part of the ongoing Outpatient Community Reintegration Program, developed by recreation therapist/senior child life specialist Christen Bradbury, and funded through a grant from the BFFBF. The mission of the program is to “engage, encourage, empower” pediatric burn patients with the ongoing goal of helping patients set their sights higher from within, while actively participating in challenging activities through community reintegration. In partnership with the BFFBF, two outings per month are planned for small groups of outpatients, including activities that work on physical and/or psychological goals.

As the children tackled the challenge of scaling the rock wall last Friday, they showed tremendous courage in overcoming physical and psychosocial demands, thus exemplifying their name: Team Brave. “This program, with incredible sponsorship from the BFFBF, allows us to provide patients with supported opportunities to test their limits. It is an amazing thing yo watch. Patients walk in nervous and shy, and walk out with new friends and on top of the world! It certainly shows how much Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston cares about the patient’s entire self,” stated Christen Bradbury, known as Coach Chris to the children.

Boston’s local ABC affiliate WCVB Channel 5 was there to capture the moments when Boston Shriners patient Islam, one of the most enthusiastic children in the program, conquered the rock wall... multiple times! Follow this link for the full story:

Past and future activities of the Outpatient Community Reintegration Program include bowling, trampolining, Zumba, ice skating and sailing. Steve Turley of the BFFBF notes that watching Team Brave get out into the community is truly inspiring. “Firefighters are known as being brave,” he states, “but burn survivors are the bravest of the brave.”

For more information on the BFFBF visit: