The Burn Survivor Reunion is an annual gathering designed for the whole family to bring inspiration and hope through formal presentations and informal times of sharing. Activities allow people to network with other survivors and their families and discover available resources.

The 2018 Burn Survivor Reunion was profiled by Spectrum News.

In October 1991, the first Burn Survivor Reunion was held through the determination and vision of Shirley Massey, then Burn Center Chaplain. She realized there was a lack of programming for adult burn survivors. At that time, the Medical Director could not imagine that burn survivors or their families would have any desire to return to the place where they experienced such pain and suffering. However, to his surprise, the response was overwhelmingly positive which laid the foundation for developing more formalized aftercare.

Attendees over the years have traveled from Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, South Carolina, England, and across North Carolina, and include survivors and their families, North Carolina fire personnel, Burn Center staff and other health care professionals, community supporters and volunteers, as well as guests from North Carolina and the southeast region of the country.

The reunion now offers a children’s program, and the afternoon includes support groups where survivors can share and offer support in a more intimate setting.

The next Burn Survivor Reunion will take place on November 9, 2019.

Celebration of Life

Please Join Us for Our 28th Annual Reunion
The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
100 Friday Center Drive | Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Schedule of Events

  • 9:00 AM: Registration/Breakfast/Silent Auction
  • 10:00 AM: Adult Program/Children’s Program
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch
  • 2:00 PM: Silent auction ends
  • 3:00 PM: Support Groups
  • 4:30 PM: Event Ends

Guest Speaker: Samoana Matagi

Samoana Matagi is a Utah native. After serving a church mission to Brazil, he received a degree in broadcast journalism from Utah State University. Samoana, or Sam for short, worked in broadcast journalism for two
years and then decided to pursue a career as a linesman, building and maintaining powerlines. He was involved in an horrific accident in December of 2010 with live powerlines carrying 14400 volts. The burns resulted in
the amputations of his hands.

Any traumatic experience can cause depression, despair or a loss of hope. Sam will speak about those but will focus on resilience. He will share how he was able to summon up his own personal resilience to overcome this
major setback in his life. He will describe his journey and how he has not only survived, but thrived, to live a life that is in some ways fuller and more vibrant than his previous life with hands.

For more information about the Reunion, please contact Aftercare at 919-962-8427.