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Angel Faces® announces its 9th annual retreat for girls with severe burns or injuries.

In today’s celebrity-driven world where so much emphasis is put on appearance, imagine how tough life must be for adolescent girls permanently disfigured by burns or injuries. 

Most of the girls at the retreat have been severely burned and while they are lucky to have survived, these courageous young women have known unimaginable pain. Their accidents range from car crashes, house fires, school chemistry experiments, bonfires, gas explosions and even costume making. Some of these girls have also had to deal with the loss of a parent or sibling in their tragedy.

While their stories are different, the girls attending Angel Faces® share issues that arise from their physical and emotional scars.

One girl’s father flicked his cigarette out the window of his truck after picking her up from dance class – it landed in the back of the truck onto a propane tank and fertilizer. Another girl was injured when a friend poured lighter fluid on a bonfire engulfing her in flames, and two girls were badly burned when their science class teacher poured methanol alcohol into the dish they used during a science experiment. The list goes on and on…

Today, they face new challenges, stares, teasing, and unwanted questions.

Girls from across the country and abroad come to the Angel Faces® retreat from June 17 – 22 at Glen Ivy Retreat Center in Corona, CA. This year, the girls are from Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, San Antonio, Miami, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Detroit, Chicago, Tennessee, and England. 

When the girls arrive at the retreat, they often believe they can never have normal, healthy relationships. “Will I ever get married looking like this?” “Will a boy ever love me?” “Will I ever be kissed?” These are the questions they ask.

At the Angel Faces® retreat, the girls work closely with licensed, clinical therapists, corrective cosmetic professionals, and meet other girls that face the same struggles. The end result is a new and hope-filled start for the girls who leave armed with the tools to create the life they want and overcome the challenges of living with their injuries.

Angel Faces® began out of Lesia Cartelli’s own pain. Her desire to heal from a serious burn injury over 50% of her face and body at the age of nine in a natural gas explosion encouraged her to dedicate and create the best possible program for adolescent girls who suffer similar disfiguring burns and other traumatic injuries.

Angel Faces® is a remarkable healing retreat that transforms the lives of these girls and is testament to Lesia’s spirit – something the fire could not take.

Before becoming CEO of Angel Faces®, Lesia Cartelli launched the first camp for burn-injured children in southern California. During a 17-year career that followed, she developed and directed after-care programs for burn-injured children and adults, and founded the first national retreat for adults suffering from severe burn injuries.

In addition, in recognition of her untiring efforts at Angel Faces®, Lesia was presented the Heart of a Woman Award by Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw on the Dr. Phil Show.

Emmy award-winning TV reporter and host of PBS’ A Place of Our Own, Elizabeth Sanchez, recently joined Angel Faces® as Executive Director. In the news business, journalists often tell the stories of people who have been injured physically and emotionally, but the needs of those affected are rarely met – and often it is only temporary.

When she learned of Angel Faces’ support, inspiration, and dedication to empower adolescent girls who need it most, she knew she wanted to be a part of supporting young women to better themselves in a critical window of their lives.

For more information and messages of hope from girls who have attended the retreat, please visit: www.AngelFacesRetreat.org.

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