Help Me Make My Dream Come True…Please!!

A month from today I will be on a plane heading back from my vacation in Los Angeles. I will barely be able to sit still in my seat because I’m going to be too excited to get home. Yes you read that right – I’ll be too excited to come home…from vacation…in LA. I’m not crazy, I swear. I’m a dreamer. A big dreamer. And I have a dream…a big dream. Giant. Life changing – and one that is going to come true. My dream is going to begin to come true while I’m in LA, next month.

If you follow Scarred, Not Broken on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or here, you know that I celebrated my 25 year burn anniversary this past summer. July 25, 1993 my life was changed by the flick of a lighter when I was only nine years old. (See previous blog post I’ll Always Remember… for more on what happened when the cabin I was in exploded). I’ve celebrated (and sometimes dreaded) the anniversary of my accident (also explained more in I’ll Always Remember…) but 25 years is a quarter of a century…that’s a long time. I decided I was going to do something big to commemorate 25 years of surviving being burned.

Dad, Tom, and Janelle visiting
Me at nine years old in the hospital with 2nd and 3rd degree burns to 45% of my body

I decided that I was going to go on a trip, by myself, to LA. Why LA when I could have picked almost anywhere else? Because LA is the city where dreams come true…and my dream is going to come true when I’m there. I’m also a big believer that what you put out into the universe comes back to you…so I’m keeping positive and reminding the universe that I have a dream…

Walking for the first time 2
Learning how to walk again – despite the fact my legs and arms were covered in burns.

As mentioned earlier, I’m not crazy. I do know that there is a chance that my dream won’t come true while I’m in LA – but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to do everything I can to make it happen…it also means that IF it doesn’t come true next month, it doesn’t mean it will never come true.

So what’s my dream? Well. I can’t tell you. Not yet. Not until someone else hears it first.  One thing I can tell you about it…is it was formed the day that cabin exploded (I just didn’t know it then). I’d always known I was burned for a purpose – I may not have been born for this dream but I was burned for it.

I believe in my dream so much, that I am certain that if I get the chance to share it with the one and only Ellen DeGeneres, she’ll believe in it as much as I do.

Why Ellen? Because she’s Ellen, first of all. She lives for making dreams come true for others. And my dream is all about love, acceptance, understanding – and I know it will change the world, for the better. All things Ellen stands for.

I hated that mask so much…had to wear it all day and night for a year. Photo credit: Jerry Cordeiro

I’ve had this dream for awhile, and I’ve been working hard to make it come true. But I can’t do it alone – it’s that big. Although that hasn’t stopped me from working towards it. I’ve sent emails, letters (yes typed and snail mailed), made calls – I just haven’t reached the right person yet.

For my 25 year burn anniversary, my family surprised me with tickets to see Ellen when she came to Calgary earlier this year. I was blown away and wanted to keep pinching myself when she walked into the auditorium. I was in the same room as Ellen freaking DeGeneres (never mind the thousands of others that were there). I took that opportunity to try and see if she’d read my dream. I’d never been to a Q&A with a celebrity before so I didn’t know what to expect – so my kids and I made a giant sign to see if that’d work. I had my dream printed out and clutched in my hand ready to give her.

Kids and dream
My kids all pitched in and made a sign for me to bring to the show.

It didn’t happen. Obviously. I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it did. But I still didn’t give up. Everything Ellen had to say that day struck me to the core. And further confirmed for me that I cannot give up on my dream. See my previous post, Dear Ellen…, to read how she did this.

One thing Ellen talked about that day, was how Johnny Carson gave her a chance, believed in her and helped make her dream come true. Ellen is my Johnny Carson. I truly believe that when she hears my dream, she’ll want to help make it happen.

25 years 4
I also wanted to do a photo shoot that portrayed how strong I’ve become since my accident. To show that I didn’t let something so horrible and painful destroy my life. Photo by Jerry Cordeiro

So I’m headed to LA. I leave November 8 and come home November 16 (hopefully – I’m flying stand by so it can be tricky). I do not have tickets to Ellen’s show. I tried. But they go so fast. But I’m going to try my chances at calling the number for day-of tickets every day I’m in LA, with my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed (I don’t know how to cross my eyes but that’s not important).

But that’s not all I’m going to do. I’m going to ask for your help too. So many of you helped me when I tried to get Ellen’s attention before I saw her in Calgary (see Help Me Get Ellen’s Attention!! Please!). That blog post was, and still is, the most shared post I’ve ever had. Sure it didn’t work then but I’m not giving up! You never know…it could work this time!

25 years 1
Photo by Jerry Cordeiro

I am going to LA and I’m going to get tickets to the Ellen show, somehow. I don’t need to be on stage, even just in the audience would be beyond amazing. But when I do go, I still need Ellen’s attention – because I will have my dream printed out and in my hand, ready to give to her, just like I hoped for in Calgary.

So please, share this. Tag Ellen. Email her. Call her. Text her…if we’re friends and you’re that close to Ellen that you can do that, then we need to talk….why hadn’t you told me sooner?! LOL. Come with me on this dream of mine and help be part of the reason it comes true.

One day, I will share my dream with the world. Not just because it’s going to come true and you’ll have no choice, but also because it’s what the world needs right now. Love. Acceptance. Understanding. Even though you don’t know (yet) what the dream is, those three words describe it, perfectly.

25 years 3
It was my decision to include a propane bottle in my 25 year anniversary photo shoot. I needed it there…because it almost killed me once, I wanted to show everyone that I am not afraid. And I stood proudly for this photo. Proud of who I am and how far I’ve come in 25 years. Photo by Jerry Cordeiro

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your support, always. I want my dream to be yours too. Ok, I have a trip to plan now!!! I know the first thing I’ll be packing…

Dear Ellen


Much love,

Joy Zylstra






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