by Kilee Brookbank and Lori Highlander
After being severely burned in a house explosion, Kilee Brookbank found herself living a new “normal,” redefining who she was and discovering a strength she never knew she had. “Beautiful Scars” is the story of Kilee and her family—a story that will inspire readers to push beyond their boundaries and make an impact on others along the way.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati.
Everything Happens for a Reason
Praise for “Beautiful Scars”
“Kilee’s spirit shines through her every word. ‘Beautiful Scars’ is a down-to-earth primer on how to let our hearts define us, not our scars.” – J.R. Martinez, actor, U.S. Army veteran, bestselling author, and burn survivor
“Kilee’s ‘Beautiful Scars’ shares her story of hope. In one single moment, a tragic accident almost took her life and put her through months of physical and emotional challenges. Despite these obstacles, Kilee’s beautiful and joyful spirit demonstrate to all that there is life and hope after serious tragedy. This book is an encouraging story for burn survivors and anyone surviving trauma.”
– Julie Peetz, executive director
“It took me many years – decades even – to embrace my fire, my scars, my story, my gifts – the way that Kilee has naturally done in just a few short years. ‘Beautiful Scars’ is a reminder that we don’t always get to choose the path we walk in life, but we can always choose the manner in which we walk it. Kilee, a heartfelt thank you for the reminder.”
– John O’Leary, national bestselling author of “ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life” and inspirational speaker
“This book will touch the hearts of mothers and daughters across different life experiences, and it will provide hope and encouragement to people who have lived through traumatic injury and recovery or helped children through such a harrowing process. Both Kilee and her mother offer their honest insights, not denying the pain and despair they felt, even as they cling unwaveringly to hope.” – Foreword Clarion Reviews
“This is such an emotional, inspiring story, it is hard for me to put into words how I feel about this book. … In terms of writing, I think everything flowed well, I liked the alternative perspectives, and I really loved the parts where Cameron added his thoughts.” – Ryley Reads
“I really liked that the story was told from the perspective of Kilee and her mom, Lori. Lori’s perspective made me think about the emotions and difficulties moms go through when something happens to their children. … I found the book interesting and a worthwhile read as a whole. I learned much more about the aftermath of a burn than my sister or I do in medical school. This book is worth a second look!” – Live to Read
Kilee was a typical sixteen-year-old, thinking about school, soccer, and her friends. But her last ordinary day erupted in an explosion that consumed her house, burning forty-five percent of her body and sending her to the very brink of death. After thirty-eight days of surgeries, skin grafts, perpetual physical therapy, and excruciating pain, she had to discover how to live again.
About The Authors
Kilee Brookbank is an honor student, soccer player, shoe fanatic, animal lover – and burn survivor. Severely injured when a gas leak caused her house to explode in November 2014, Kilee was hospitalized for thirty-eight days before returning home to a life of new challenges and a new “normal.” Kilee, who attends Xavier University, is preparing for her future with strength and determination that inspire everyone she meets. She and her family created the Kilee Gives Back Foundation in 2015 to support other families through times of crisis, and Kilee is devoted to paying forward the generosity and kindness she received from her community and from around the world.
Lori Highlander is, first and foremost, proud mom to daughter Kilee and son Cameron. Lori has spent 20 years as an executive in the alcohol and drug addiction field and has witnessed first-hand the impact of information and inspiration on the healing process. In 2014, Lori’s daughter, Kilee Brookbank, was severely burned in a house explosion. Kilee’s resilience and Cameron’s strength compelled Lori to launch KiCam Projects, creating an avenue to bring light to powerful stories of survival with the goal of supporting charitable endeavors and organizations. Additionally, Lori and her family formed the Kilee Gives Back Foundation, a nonprofit inspired by the family’s personal experience. Lori lives in Georgetown, Ohio, with Kilee and Cameron; her husband, Wade; and her stepsons, Collin and Houstin.