Angel Faces — You Will Never Forget Their Stories And Strength

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Angel Faces — You Will Never Forget Their Stories And Strength

Wolfeboro, NH, May 23, 2016 — For young girls with severe and permanent disfigurement from burns or other traumatic injuries, the cruelty of the world can be almost unbearable. The stares, unwanted questions, rejection, and cruelty of others create a sort of living hell for this special group of survivors.  But where do they find the resilience and gratitude to find hope again?

Lesia Cartelli, founder/CEO of Angel Faces survived a gas explosion at the age of nine while trapped in the basement of her grandparents’ home. Cartelli used the pain of her serious burn injury, over 50% of her face and body, to create Angel Faces; a national nonprofit for girls and young women who suffer similar disfiguring burns and other traumatic injuries.  The retreat, a place to find resilience and gratitude for traumatic injuries is being held in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire on June 20 – 26th, 2016.

Twenty adolescent girls (ages 12 to 19)  who have suffered severe, disfiguring burns and traumas will gather to heal.  Girls travel from Arizona, California,  Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.  Meet Kelsay, of Iowa, who was 4 when her sundress caught fire as she tried to blow out a candle; Keylee, of Texas, whose burn injuries have led to bilateral amputations, and Skyler, of New Jersey, who was severely burned when an indoor/outdoor candle exploded.

During the week, survivors hear first hand from Cartelli and each other about resilience, the long road through recovery, and the “gifts” they can find in their own lives despite how their appearance is altered or the loss they suffered in the accident.  The young girls work closely with licensed therapists to share and explore ways to facilitate emotional healing and meet others with similar struggles. They learn to use new tools that will help them increase their self-esteem, decrease their depressive symptoms, and have a better quality of life.  Most important of all, they discover within themselves how to create the life they desire through empowerment and self acceptance.

“The retreats are only the first component to healing,” Cartelli explains. “We see true resilience surface when the girls go back home with the skills and tools we teach. We receive calls and emails from the parents and medical centers about how confident and content their daughter/patient is since she has returned — she joined a sport or academic team at school, or now is going to prom, or interviewing for a first job, ending their social death.”

The unique retreats focus on the healing process within a holistic framework of mind, heart, and spirit. In addition to art therapy, yoga, boundaries, self-esteem workshops, therapeutic touch and private, corrective-cosmetic sessions, the program provides skills and strategies on how to handle staring, teasing, and unwanted questions. The goal of Angel Faces® is to offer a physical, spiritual, and emotional transformation so each girl walks away with a new confidence and a hopeful outlook toward the future with the skills to be excited about their life.

Angel Faces®, founded in 2003, headquartered in Encinitas, CA (retreats on the east coast), whose mission is to provide healing retreats and ongoing support for adolescent girls and young women with severe and permanent disfigurement from burn/trauma injuries, to achieve their optimum potential and develop meaningful relationships for themselves, their families, and their communities.

For more information, please visit the Angel Faces website at

Cartelli is also the author of a newly-released book, Heart of Fire.

Available on, Barnes and Noble and all online outlets
Heart of Fire: An Intimate Journey of Pain, Love and Healing
Carlyle Publishing

Barbara Walters, ABC News 20/20: “This is a story you will still be thinking about tomorrow.”

Dr. Phil and Robyn McGraw, Dr. Phil Show: “Lesia Cartelli is the perfect example of someone who has used a tragedy and her heart to help others. We are honored to give her the Heart of a Woman Award.”

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