Blake knows first-hand about recovering from burns and the physical and emotional challenges of living with scars. He and his father Jerry Tedder received 3rd and 2nd degree burns on 35% of their bodies when their small plane crashed into a ski area in Snowmass, Colorado in August of 2001. Blake was 16, his father was 51. After three long and painful months in the excellent care of The North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC, re-learning how to eat, sleep, walk, talk, and perform daily tasks, and after a combined 25+ surgeries, Blake and Jerry, could finally say they recovered. Blake first revisited the plane crash site, 10 years to the day on August 15, 2011, on a trip that was covered by WRAL. He continues to find inspiration and perspective by visiting the site.
Jerry established the Blake Tedder Burn Prevention/Therapy Endowment in 2002 within the North Carolina Community Foundation, for which he, Blake’s mother Catherine Combs, Stepfather David Combs, and many friends from Eastern North Carolina held a large golf tournament fundraiser to establish the endowment’s core funds. When Jerry lost a short fight with pancreatic cancer in 2004, Blake assumed leadership of the endowment. In 2015, the expanded and renamed Blake Tedder Burn Endowment has the grant-making ability for therapeutic support of burn survivors and their families, fire and burn education, and fire prevention initiatives. The endowment has funded fire safety programs for the Rocky Mount Fire Department, sent numerous people to Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress, and even bought 100 yoga mats for pediatric burn survivors to use in Phoenix Society’s programming. Each year BTBurn is actively seeking people and initiatives to support through grants up to $1500.
Along with being a musician, Yoga instructor, and a proud Social Worker, Blake is an active volunteer with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors as a workshop facilitator at World Burn Congress, panelist and speaker, and SOAR® (Survivor’s Offering Assistance in Recovery) certified peer supporter. Blake makes peer-support by email, phone, and Skype, and in-person at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center along with volunteering and supporting many of the Burn Center’s Aftercare programming like Camp Celebrate. He is also available to speak at schools, businesses, civic groups, and churches or survival, heroism, mindfulness, yoga, visible difference, and living life fully through adversity.
Blake lives with his wife Amelia and their 3 four-leggeds in Hillsborough, NC.
The Original Announcement of theBlake Tedder Burn Prevention/Therapy Endowment:
NCCFwinter2002 (read about it on pg 5)
Some news clips…
- Two MSW students turn life-altering experiences into advocacy for others – UNC School of Social Work Contact Magazine
- Carrboro man returns to plane crash site – WRAL
- Camp for burn victims helps build confidence – WRAL
- Carrboro man recalls treatment at Jaycee Burn Center – WRAL