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In November 2017, my daughter, Keira, had a terrible accident which left her with second and third-degree burns on over 25 percent of her body. She’d been severely scalded while carrying a tray of hot drinks, and, over the next few days, her condition became critical as she developed a severe fever due to her injuries.

Medics rushed Keira to the ICU at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, where she spent days being stabilized as the doctors fought to save her life. Thankfully, they stabilized her enough to be moved to the pediatric burn unit, where she stayed for another ten days.

But this was only the start of her journey...

In the summer of 2018, as Keira struggled to do all the things a typical 10-year-old might do in the summer months, she got the opportunity to attend Burn Camp. Burn Camp is an incredible camp organized and run by BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, a charity directly linked with the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Association. Each camp hosts young burn survivors at a week-long camp somewhere in British Columbia, and, to date, over a thousand kids have been able to attend the camp since its development in 1994.

Burn Camp had an incredible impact on Keira, and the following year, just before her birthday in January, she asked about returning to Burn Camp that summer. That’s when I had to explain to her that she might not be able to return due to the costs involved, which all came from donations. I told her that it cost the Burn Fund $2900 per child to host them at Burn Camp and so only a certain number of kids could go each year.

This information struck a chord with Keira, and she decided she wanted to raise money to help other kids be able to have the same experience she’d had at Burn Camp previously. She started by asking her friends to donate money instead of getting her toys for her birthday, and when I saw she’d raised $80, I told her I would match it and start a GoFundMe page if she wanted me to.


The page took off, and, before we knew it, Keira had raised $3000. Then a local journalist, Paul Henderson, heard about what she was doing and asked if he could do a story. The story led to her connecting with Chilliwack Fire Fighters (and Greg, another special person in her life), and they went on to donate another $6000. Before we knew it, Keira had raised over $10,000.

Inspired by Keira’s achievement, Nicole from the Burn Fund reached out and set up a breakfast television interview for Keira. Since then, Nicole and the Burn Fund team have continued to champion Keira’s cause, even to this day. We’ve had so many amazing opportunities as a family, including connecting with other families of burn survivors through the Phoenix World Burn Congress in California in 2019.

Keira’s story doesn’t end there, of course. Even now, she is an active burn patient, and she still has to go to Children’s Hospital for regular checkups. The impact of having a child with a serious burn injury runs deep and ripples through every layer of a family system, and it’s for that reason we continue to work with burn survivors and their families. Because, while there are around 150 new burn cases each year, there are always around 900 active burn patients at any one time, due to the length of time they have to go through treatment and how long it takes for them to heal.

As a family, we volunteer with and promote things that align with the Chilliwack Charitable Firefighters Association, The BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund, BC Children’s Hospital, the Ronald MacDonald House, and the countless others who have supported us to make meaning out of this tragedy. We also try to promote education, fundraising, and other areas to support this vital work for survivors and their families personally and professionally. After all, if we can help even one person do something to prevent one more child from experiencing burns the way Keira did, then it’s all totally worth it.



Watch the video for Kiera's Burn Camp Story Here

News Articles

Young Chilliwack burn survivor raising funds to help send kids to camp - Chilliwack ProgressChilliwack Progress

Keira McKenzie can wear her gi and practise jiu jitsu again now that she has mostly recovered from being burned more than a year ago. She's now raising money for fellow young burn victims so they can attend the same summer Burn Camp that she did in 2018.

Keira McKenzie times firefighter Matthew Peters to see how long it takes him to put on his gear as Lieut. Greg Zutter watches. It took him one minute and 19 seconds.

Young Chilliwack burn victim a top fundraiser for Saturday's Santa Run - Chilliwack ProgressChilliwack Progress

Keira McKenzie (centre, in blue) and her Chilly Squad team are taking part in the Santa Run fundraiser in Vancouver on Nov. 30. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress) Keira McKenzie and seven friends raising money to send young burn victims to camp Keira McKenzie and her friends are coming to town.

13-year-old Chilliwack burn survivor supported by 'Heroes' lottery - Chilliwack ProgressChilliwack Progress

Chilliwack burn survivor Keira McKenzie, 13, and her family (including mom Terresa McKenzie) are encouraging people to buy tickets to the Hometown Heroes Lottery which raises money for the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund, a charity that has helped the family in more ways than one over the past three and a half years.

Gord Kurenoff: There was no rain dear, just 400 shuffling Santas for Burn Fund cause

OPINION: If you were one of the 400 who suited up, count yourself lucky to be a good Claus for the cause and part of something new that will grow faster than you can say Ho, Ho, Ho! The first time I met Cindy Roberts she was one broom short of being a complete witch.


The BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund is a charity that works to provide lifesaving, life-supporting, and life-enriching services to the approximately 700 burn victims across the province each year. They also work to prevent similar traumas from occurring as much as possible. The Burn Fund relies heavily on donations and people volunteering their time and skills to support burn survivors and increase public awareness of fire and burn safety issues through their research, support and prevention programs.

To donate to the Burn Fund, click on the donate now button below.

To find out other ways in which you can support the Burn Fund, please check out their website https://burnfund.org/ways-to-help/


The Chilliwack Firefighters Charitable Society was formed to allow local firefighters to support local charities. They’ve supported everything from the Salvation Army, Chilliwack Hospice Society and Fraser Valley Health right through to the Ann Davis Transition House and, of course, the Burn Fund. They organize many local events so that the people of Chilliwack can show their support.

You can donate to the Chilliwack Firefighters Charitable Society by clicking on the donate now button below.

Find out about any upcoming events through the Chilliwack Firefighters Charitable Society Facebook page.


Without our help and support, these local charities (and many more) would not be able to do the fantastic things they do to protect and serve our children and families. They rely on us to keep them functioning by donating what we can to ensure that happens.

As a family, we try to be involved in many local fundraising events to support these charities. I will do my best to add any upcoming events to this page so that you can also get involved and help in any way you can if you’d like to!