2010 Semi-Finalist for Anapol Advocate Award
Rosemary Washington has been nominated because of her dedication to counseling those who have been scarred mentally and physically by burns, helping them to recover their self-esteem and lead productive and meaningful lives.
If named the Anapol Advocate, Rosemary Washington will award the $5,000 prize to Healed With Scars to continue her work.
In January 1986, Rosemary was in an auto accident that left her severely disfigured, with burns over her face and body. She spent months in St. Agnes Hospital’s burn unit and then over the years underwent more than 100 surgeries to reconstruct and repair her body.
In addition to physical healing, Rosemary sought emotional healing to deal with the reactions generated from her altered appearance. She attended camps and workshops for burn survivors, and ultimately decided to open her own non-profit in August 2005. Healed With Scars is based in Philadelphia and works both to reach local burn survivors who have “hidden” – withdrawn from society because of its reaction to how they look – and to prevent burn survivors from hiding.
Rosemary helps Healed With Scars’ members to “face their scars and the beauty within,” recover their self-esteem, and live productive and meaningful lives rather than hide in isolation. She reaches out to burn survivors 18 years and older and to family members of adolescent burn survivors. She holds regular support group meetings to allow survivors to share their stories and challenges and to offer advice; publishes newsletters to keep members connected; and arranges trips – to a Phillies game, a play in Center City, etc. – to inspire members to get out in public and enjoy being there.