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Burning Passion

Rivka Chaya Steif

Lag B’omer means bonfires: tens of feet of dancing flames, spirited dancing — and potential burns. Women from the MR Burn Gemach, an international group of dedicated volunteers, share the surprising secrets to effectively treating burns.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

For those unschooled in the complexity of burn treatment, it’s hard to understand why a burn gemach is so vital. Even minor burns can cause redness, painful blisters, and, as in the case of Shaina’s son, swelling, and may lead to scarring or infection — or worse. According to the World Health Organization, burns are the 11th leading cause of death in children aged one to nine years old. Getting the right treatment quickly is important to promote healing and minimize damage. The founder of theMRBurnGemach,MiriamRosenfeld — a trained practitioner of natural healing — had learned to dress burns as well as wounds, cellulitis, and ulcers. (See sidebar for more aboutMiriam.) As word of her expertise spread and she could not keep up with the demand on her time, she began training additional volunteers to be available when or where she could not. Today, over 40 volunteers in countless cities across the world have established branches of theMRBurnGemach, where hundreds of burn victims are expertly treated in a safe, professional environment, free of charge. Donations are used exclusively to purchase new supplies to keep the Gemach running.

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