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Filmmakers hope to raise awareness about burn injuries

About 1 million people suffer burn injuries each year in the United States, and roughly 45,000 of those victims require hospitalization. But nationwide there are only about 150 hospital units that specialize in burn injuries.

With those numbers in mind, Albuquerque residents may be interested in a new short film that aims to raise awareness about the struggle of burn injury victims.

Once completed, "See Me" will be a 25-minute movie featuring a number of heralded actors, including Steffani Brass from the HBO series "Six Feet Under" and Tina Cole, who played television roles in the 1960s on "My Three Sons" and "The King Family." The movie producers, the director and a number of the actors have been inspired by personal experiences with burn survivors.

The producers are Debbie Vaughn and Donna Eames, twin sisters whose childhood best friend suffered burn injuries on most of her body. Their friend was an infant when she was injured.

Tina Cole said a friend of her family suffered burn injuries when his plane exploded in 1944 as he delivered fuel to a town in China. This was during World War II, and the accident left him with burn injuries on 70 percent of his body. After describing how she came to look past her friend's scars, Cole said, "That's why I chose to do this. I hope this film can educate people to be more open and accepting."

The filmmakers are teaming up with burn survivor organizations, and some survivors are scheduled to meet with the actors next month during shooting.

New Mexico residents with burn injury concerns will undoubtedly want to keep an eye out for the debut of "See Me."

The reality is that firefighters, electricians and industrial workers are not the only people who face the risk of serious burn injuries. Fiery car accidents and defective products are also common causes of burn injuries that sometimes lead to permanent disability. To learn more about what to do after a serious accident, burn injury survivors may want to speak with a personal injury attorney.

Source: Simi Valley Acorn, "Local production company focuses on burn victims," Gabrielle Moreira, Sept. 13, 2013

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