This is where you can find out all about:
'Our Official Ambassador', 'Our Founder and Patrons', 'Our Staff' and 'Our Trustees and Board Members'
OUR OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR
OUR FOUNDER & PATRONS
Our Founder & Patron
In 1984 my then 8 year old son, Brendon, sustained burns to 40% of his body in an explosion. This personal experience made it obvious to me that some type of support organisation was desperately needed for burn survivors and their families. Not only were they suffering intense physical pain, but sometimes also the loss of a home or family member and possibly also having to undergo a dramatic change in body or facial image, which can be a major psychological trauma in itself. It became my passion to alleviate as much suffering as I possibly could for these burn survivors and their families, so subsequently . . . . . .
Established the BURN SUPPORT GROUP CHARITABLE TRUST in Auckland in 1987.
Established the first children’s burn camp in NZ, (which is still held annually by the BSGCT.)
Served on both Middlemore and the Auckland Hospital Schools Board of Trustees.
Became an Active member of COVAC (Co-ordinators of Volunteers of Auckland), Safe Kids and FINZ(Fundraising Institute of NZ) ‘82 –’90.
Assisted by a substantial grant from ACC, established a national organization of 21 other groups and contacts around New Zealand eventually becoming its national executive director.
Invited to be a member of the National Task Force for ACC’s NZ wide Thermal Injury Programme in 1990.
Established the first skin bank in NZ and fundraised for numerous items of hospital and surgical equipment for the Plastic Surgery Unit at Middlemore Hospital (now the National Burn Unit).
Bi-annually attended many World Burn Congresses and American Burn Association conferences being a Special Member, Invited Speaker and exhibitor at several.
Accompanied a study/lecture tour of China with the Phoenix Society, 1992.
Received 15 national and international awards and medals including one from Queen Elizabeth 11 in 1990.
Upon marrying Alan Breslau, burn survivor and executive director of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors in 1993, immigrated to the United States becoming its associate director. In this capacity established the first summer camp for burned children in Pennsylvania, Camp Susquehanna, co-ordinating and co-directing it for ten years. During 20 years of involvement with the burn community, gave over 350 public presentations and numerous television, radio and media interviews throughout the U.S., Australia, China and NZ. Alan and I retired from our directorships of the Phoenix Society in 1997. The society subsequently established an award in our honour which (in grateful appreciation to the BSGCT and the Phoenix Society) we have been able to present each year on the Banquet night at the annual World Burn Congress. The Alan and Delwyn Breslau Award is the highest distinction the Phoenix Society can bestow. The award honours: “A Phoenix Society member who has, through a collaborative spirit, significantly enhanced the ability of the Phoenix Society to fulfil its mission of peer support, education, collaboration and advocacy. By virtue of their character, integrity and service provided to those impacted by a burn injury, this person has significantly enhanced the Phoenix Society and the burn community.” We emigrated to New Zealand in 2003, at which time it was an honour to accept the invitation to become patrons of the Trust.
Our Patron &
Born and bred in New York City, I attended and graduated the High School of Music and Art and trained at the Juilliard School of Music forming my own 18 piece orchestra. I graduated with a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering in 1954. Specialized in plastics becoming President of the Society of Plastic Engineers of Delaware Valley, Editor of the The Alembic (the American Chemical Journal), Technical Director of two plastics companies in New York and Hong Kong, held two patents and was an Adjunct Professor at three universities in Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Initiated the Burn Survivor Special Interest Group at the American Burn Association and served as first Chairman of the Bio Ethics in Burns Committee of the ABA. Member of the International Society for Burn Injuries, Delaware Valley Ethics Committee Network, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Society for Testing and Materials. Served on the boards as President of two private schools in Philadelphia and as Chairman of the Arts and Culture Commission of the Bucks County Council for the Arts, Pennsylvania.
Enlisted in U.S. Army during World War II serving in England, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Have testified before committees of both the House of Representatives and the US Senates as well as before legislatures of several states on the issues of fire safe cigarettes and consumer product safety.
As a chemical engineer on a business trip, I was in a plane crash in Rochester New York in 1963. A result of which I suffered 45% full thickness burns losing the top of my head, my nose, an eye, an ear, a thumb and a few fingers. Hospitalized for 5 years, I ‘died’ twice and accumulated a medical file one foot thick. Upon discharge, I discovered there was no support organization for anyone burned and disfigured so I decided to establish a world wide organization called ‘The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors’. I named it after the beautiful Egyptian mythological bird who ignites it’s nest, is consumed in the flames, only to rise again ‘more beautiful than before’.
In 1988 we held the first World Burn Congress and these have been held every year since. Burn survivors now come to the United States annually from all over the world to these congresses and it has to be one the most humbling and awe-inspiring events held on the planet. It was at the very first congress that Delwyn and I met, fell in love and after a five year long-distance courtship, we married. We both derive great pleasure and satisfaction from having the opportunity to work together to help burn survivors which has now become our combined lifetime passion.
I am fortunate enough to have been the recipient of many awards, honours and prizes including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Burn Association and have been an invited guest speaker at numerous international conferences.
I have co-authored several books and written two. The latest one being “The Beauty of Disfigurement” which has recently been translated into Japanese. My philosophy about being disfigured is that looking very different has many advantages. You don’t have to dye and spike your hair, or pierce and tattoo your body to stand out in the crowd. People notice and remember you just as you are and you will garner just as much attention- and sometimes even more! It is totally up to YOU whether you use the attention positively or negatively, so make the most of it!
Click on the button below to listen to Alan tell his story
The Burn Support Group Charitable Trust staff are committed individuals who really care about the charity and upholding its values.
Nikki Boucher - Events Coordinator Michele Henry - office Administrator
I am a Mum of four children (14, 11, and 5 year old twins). I have a very busy household so work part-time for Burn Support Group Charitable Trust, Inc.
After two years as the administrator of the Burn Support Group, I’m happy to move to the role of Events Coordinator. I will be using a passion of mine which is organising events. Prior to working for Burn Support Group I co-owned an event planning business, so I am looking forward to putting these skills into place.
I have had the pleasure of meeting many of our burn survivor family members and seeing how adversity is taken on by different individuals. I look forward to meeting more members of this family at various events.
My background is originally hairdressing and still today I enjoy picking up scissors and tending to the locks of friends and family. Hairdressing is what led to my passion for people, communication and general wellbeing.
For the past 7 years I have been associated with a non-profit organisation, working closely with the elderly community in East and South Auckland as a Field Officer, networking with supporting agencies, health workers and family members. A role which at times could be challenging, extremely rewarding and personally very fulfilling. From this experience I am very proud to be one of three which has opened ‘The Buddy Club Manurewa’, a centre set up for the elderly and disabled community members, weekly, to mix, mingle and form friendships.
I have a 21 year old daughter and an 18 year old son and live in Dannemora & my general interests are travelling, sports, fishing, shopping!!, family and friends.
OUR TRUSTEES & Board Members
Vice President and Trustee
I have had the privilege of being involved with the Burn Support Group Charitable Trust, Inc. since 1986 / 1987. I was first involved as a board member and minute’s secretary and then in August 2010, I was honoured to be nominated and elected to the role of Vice President of the trust.
I have worked at Middlemore Hospital for over 30 years – always in Plastic Surgical and Burns Reconstructive Surgery and for the last 12+ years, focusing solely on burns. I am a foundation staff member of the National Burn Centre (NBC).
A burn injury is the worst possible injury the human body endures, and the survivors of a major burn injury have their life irrevocably and permanently altered in so many ways. I am very passionate about burns and I find it an absolute privilege to work with and care for the burns patients.
I was born in Kaitaia, but grew up in the beauty of Coromandel. I am a ‘hospital trained’ nurse, having done my training at the Thames Hospital School of Nursing – they really were the ‘good old days!’
I am married to Andrew, mother to Graeme and Robbie, and Nan (or Nana or Nanny) to the three most beautiful girls – Alicia, Ava and Leah.
In my spare time, I have many varied interests – reading, antiques, gardening, baking, netball, rugby, listening to music, walking, spending time with my family, and of course, the work that I do with the Burn Support Group..
Board Member and Minutes Secretary
I was born in England but spent most of my childhood in East Africa. On returning to England, I trained and then worked as an Occupational Therapist. I moved to New Zealand in 1974 with husband and 2 young children. When I returned to work, I was to spend over 25 years at Middlemore Hospital and was privileged to become a foundation staff member of the National Burn Centre (NBC) in 2006.
I started working with people with burn injuries in 1990. My work could involve long periods of outpatient follow up. I would often recommend that they become involved with Burn Support Group for ongoing support. I became involved with the Burn Support Group Charitable Trust initially as a Board Member and am now the Minutes Secretary. I wholeheartedly support the work of the BSG with their aims of burn prevention and education and with providing support for burn survivors.
I am now retired. My 4 children are all grown; 3 still live in NZ and my younger son is in Melbourne. I have 3 lovely grandchildren, who I see as often as possible. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, reading and history, particularly family history.
My name is Pete Sharp, father of a burn survivor and passionate helper and motivator of those in need of support and assistance.
My daughter was burned with a hot cup of tea as a curious 18 month old toddler, Jorja and our family has spent many years recovering from this accident physically and mentally and it has taken many more years to get over the emotional trauma it has had on us as parents.
When I was asked to be part of the board I jumped at the opportunity to be part of an amazing group of people who do wonderful things whether it be new medical equipment, chairs and toys for the Hospitals to the family's and kids with the camp Awihi. I look forward to being a supportive and practical board member.
I moved to New Zealand in 2015, but prior to that resided in Dallas, Texas which is where I first started volunteering time with children who have been victims of burn events. For 5 years, I participated in a Summer Camp which is tailored specifically to children who have/had been hospitalized with burn injuries called Camp I-Thonka-Chi. This Camp as well as giving support for burn survivors is a huge part of my life, and I look forward to continuing this in New Zealand.
I am honoured to be part of the Burn Support Group Charitable Trust, and look forward to contributing to this wonderful organization, a subject which is very near to my heart.
I am a 44 year old mum of 3 amazing children, my son Taylen 16, daughters Brooklyn 13 & Lola 8 as well as being wife to my incredible & supportive husband Glenn
I am a burns survivor after being burnt at the age of 10 months old, in 1973 I pulled a jug of boiling water over myself while in a walker which resulted in
third degree burns to upper third of my torso and neck.
I spent most of my life feeling ‘different’ not really knowing anyone else with burns, my teens were especially hard & I struggled a lot with self esteem.
In my thirties I was lucky enough to track down this organisation, it has been life changing!
I have volunteered at the children's camp and been lucky enough to attend a retreat recently for female burn survivors which was wonderful!
I joined the board to be a voice for those that are burnt, as I have empathy for some of the struggles they go through. I have also found it really enriching talking to parents of some of the survivors (especially girls) to help ease their fears and answer their questions about the transitions into adult life and parenthood as a survivor.
I look forward being part of the Burns Support Trust and taking it from strength to strength, helping raise the profile of survivors and continuing to build a support network for you and your families. xx