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Angel Faces hosts retreat to heal

CARLSBAD — Angel Faces held its first retreat for young women with severe burn and trauma injuries. More than a dozen wounded young women who have been to the Angels in Formation retreats, gathered in Carlsbad Oct. 24 through Oct. 28 to learn leadership skills.Most of the young women have been severely burned and while they are lucky to have survived, these courageous young women have known extreme pain. With the help of the Angel Faces organization, they have learned to handle rejection, unwanted stares, and have gained new tools to overcome challenges and create the life they want.

This new Angels in Evolution retreat will help the women to “pay it forward” through mentorship and leadership skills. The young women have been involved in car crashes, house fires, school chemistry experiments, bonfires and gas explosions. While their stories are different, the girls attending the Angel Faces retreat shared issues that arise from their physical and emotional scars. It helps to have a mentor, someone who has been in their shoes and understands the issues they must deal with. The new retreat is headed by Susan Fowler, an author and speaker on personal empowerment and leadership.

Angel Faces began out of Lesia Cartelli’s own pain. Her desire to heal from a serious burn injury to more than 50 percent of her face and body at the age of 9 in a natural gas explosion, encouraged her to create the program for adolescent girls who suffer similar disfiguring burns and other traumatic injuries. For more information, visit


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