By Amy Barrera-Kovach

Each year the month of February is reserved for burn injury awareness. According to the American Burn Association, more than 450,000 people suffer from serious burn injures each year in the United States.

The Blocker Burn Unit at the University of Texas Medical Branch is the world’s most productive burn care and research enterprise and is recognized as a center of clinical excellence.

In 1996, it became the first burn center in the United States to be certified by both the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association.

The BBU has the highest survival rates in the nation for patients with major burn injury. In fact, we have trained more than 125 burn specialists now in practice and authored 80 percent of burn textbooks worldwide.

The recovery process from burn injury to burn survivor is a long and challenging road. Most of us will thankfully never experience the life-changing events that burn survivors, their families and loved ones go through.

But we can help those who have been through this experience by supporting their recovery and integration back into our communities.

On Saturday, the Blocker Burn Champions will have its inaugural Stop, Drop and Roll 5/K Fun Run/Walk and a Kid’s Fun Run at Moody Gardens Convention Center.

We are very excited about the opportunity to bring the community together to promote burn awareness and fire prevention.

At the beginning of our race, we will have a moment of silence to remember those we have loss due to burn injuries. Galveston Fire Marshal Robinson will kick off the race with a siren start. Galveston firefighters will be available to teach children and adults fire safety. There will be a fire truck so the children and adults can take pictures and a model safe house, which is a simulated house to teach individuals how to escape from a burning house. We will also have entertainment and face painting.

The race will be chip-timed for those serious runners, and baby strollers are welcome, as well. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday. All proceeds donated go to help burn survivors and their family members. We are very excited for our sponsors and volunteers who are helping to make this event a reality. Don’t miss the opportunity to support burn awareness and prevention.

Packet pickups will be available the Thursday and Friday before the race at Fit Tri Run, 518 23rd St. in Galveston.

I am so grateful for our many sponsors, as well as Kim and Steve Bachmeier from Fit Tri Run for helping to direct this important event.

To register, visit and search for “Stop” under “Find Event.” If you would like to be a sponsor or have questions, call me at 409-747-2076.

Amy Barrera-Kovach is a social worker for the Blocker Burn Unit at the University of Texas Medical Branch.