Second chances are not guaranteed.
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Manny Gonzalez, USMC (Retired)

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A Beginning

Manny was an average American kid doing average kids things. After high school he joined the Marine Corps. At the age of 20, Manny was severely burned while training at Camp Pendleton. But he didn’t make the choice to survive his burn injuries, those making the medical decisions when he was in a medically induced coma did. With the guidance of his doctors, nurses and family his body and spirit pulled through. His recovery was long, an unfamiliar road with seemingly never ending obstacles. One that he often found difficult navigating. But Manny did not just survive his burns, he now lives beyond the burns in a way that he never imagined possible when he was first wheeled out of the hospital.

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A Burn Survivor

After the accident, Manny came out the other end as a survivor. A burn survivor.  Life as a burn survivor is one of renewal, in more ways than one. Manny had to learn many things over again, from using silverware to walking. While Manny adjusted to being a burn survivor, he struggled to get to a life beyond his burns. He focused on helping other burn survivors and giving of himself. When he married in 2014, Manny realized he was not just living as a burn survivor but a life beyond his burns.

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A Life Beyond the Burns

Today, Manny lives as many others in a hectic suburbia with his family. But he isn’t like everyone else; he has endured and overcome what many can’t even imagine. Manny realized that his story wasn’t his alone and needed to be shared. A life of surviving the burns that is a testament of will and compassion. A story of making all change a positive, overcoming adversity, finding the power and strength in you to succeed, and not wasting any precious moments in life.

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