Christopher Klavon is a Jackson, MI, native who was badly burned in a drunk driving accident 22 years ago. A drunk man broadsided his family's vehicle on their way to a Memorial Day parade. Over 75% of Klavon's body is covered in burn scars. He is missing his right ear and several fingers. But those things don't compare to what he really lost that day... Klavon's high school sweetheart and wife of 11 years was killed upon impact. After three grueling months in the hospital fighting to survive, Klavon was faced with the challenge of raising his four young children along with continuing his own physical healing.
Klavon has never let his burns define who he is. Today, he uses his story and experiences to help others. Klavon speaks to first-time offender drunk drivers and started Great Lakes Burn Camp, a summer camp for young burn survivors near Kalamazoo.
"I do know that everything happens for a reason," Klavon says. "The only thing you can control is how you think and react to things in life."
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Beyond the Burns received 5th place in the national Hearst Photojournalism Awards Photo II competition in 2013.