Many of you have asked about the girls, so I’ll tell you:
Violet’s face is nearly healed. She’s enjoying the start of summer vacation, peeling skin and all. Zoe’s shoulders are still quite awful: the tops are leathery and cracked/peeling. We treat daily with aloe and my friend’s amazing, home-made Green Goo and they are slowly healing. Her burns were far worse than anything I’ve ever experienced and are still hard to look at without wincing. She’s not in any pain, though, so that’s an improvement!
As for me, I’m happy to report my attention has shifted from managing the media frenzy into laying the groundwork for advocacy on a national level. Saturday is a big day: I’m meeting with two groups who want to share their plans for education/advocacy about sun safety and policy reform and how we might help their efforts. You guys, it’s going to be big and wonderful. It’s going to help us turn something so senseless into something powerful, something important.
I think about the girls and how they really have no idea how strange this crazy our life has been. I brought Violet a copy of USA Today this morning, where her picture is on the cover, above the fold, nine days after the burns. She smiled, nodded and went back to playing the game I happened to interrupt. No big whoop. I am actually pretty happy about that – since we don’t have t.v., they’ve been protected from much of the attention. That has to be a good thing.
Thanks again for the support – and even for the criticism. This dialogue we’re having, all of us around the world who cringed at the site of these two kids, is important. An LA blogger wrote, “They are the sunburns being felt ’round the world,” and it’s true. People connect with the story because of how senseless the burns are and because policy has gotten in the way of safety. Unfortunately, we’re the face of a bigger problem, and looking at that face stings just as much as the burns themselves.
So many of you have shared your stories. Some are heartbreaking, some are hopeful. All are courageous. I can’t wait to help bring those stories to light. Thank you, each one of you. I promise to keep fighting this fight on your behalf. More soon.
Let’s do this.