Post courtesy of TheArgus.co.uk
Location: Brighton, England, UK
Date Of Injury: 2003
A SCHOOLGIRL who suffered severe burns as a toddler when her dress caught fire is taking to the stage to help others who have suffered disfigurement.
India Gale, 15, from Brighton, will appear as a charity ambassador at St James’ Palace on Monday alongside Sophie Countess of Wessex and medical director for NHS England Sir Bruce Keogh.
India Gale, 15, will attend the royal palace to represent national charity The Healing Foundation.
The charity, whose patron is the countess, focuses on helping hundreds of thousands of people with disfiguring conditions and scars.
The Brighton College pupil suffered disfiguring burns when she was three-year-old when her dress caught fire.
She spent months in hospital after the accident and has had to endure numerous operations since because, as she grows, her damaged skin tissue does not grow at the same rate.
Now she has an operation about once every two years.
Miss Gale said: “It has been lovely to do things for charities that have done so much for me.
“I don’t feel too nervous about standing up in front of quite prominent people, I just feel excited to be doing something I feel so passionate about – raising the profile of charities which make a real difference to peoples’ lives.”
She had previously given a speech at 11 Downing Street last year alongside former chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.
When she mentioned this to her surgeon during an appointment, he told her the Healing Foundation was looking for positive role models to appear in a video for their website.
She went on to film the video at Sky studios in London earlier this month and will be at the palace to see it screened for the first time. A portrait of her by award-winning photographer Spencer Murphy which was commissioned by the charity, will also be shown.
Ken Grocott, assistant head teacher at Brighton College, said: “India is always so upbeat and positive.
“It’s no surprise to us at school that she is acting as an ambassador for such fantastic charities because she is a smart, fun and compassionate young girl who has an awful lot to give.”