John’s Story

Meet John Q. AKA: Batman

  • Burn Survivor and proud Burn Thriver!
  • Loves dancing, body building, animals, drawing,4-wheeling, and all things Batman
  • Wants to inspire others to accept themselves as they are
  • Condition: Burn Survivor

Being a survivor of horrible burns at age 4 is an unimaginable way to begin early life. Johnny has overcome nearly insurmountable obstacles and now is using his horrific experience and its consequences to inspire others.

The fire began in a barn behind his family’s home where Johnny was playing when his dog Max’s tail knocked over a candle being used for light. The developing inferno claimed Max’s life, who tried to save him. His young sister, Leah, bravely pulled him out of the fire and got help. Though doctors didn’t expect him to make it through the night, Johnny defied the overwhelming odds. After being airlifted to a burn unit, placed in a coma for six months, enduring over 100 surgeries (with more still to come), and powering through countless hours of physical therapy, Johnny is now a proud burn thriver.

Though he wouldn’t wish his experience on anyone, he says what he’s been through has ultimately made him a deeper, more caring person with great empathy he uses to help others.

Johnny’s burns covered over 95% of his body and almost all his skin remains deeply scarred. Yet he says his deepest scars have been to his heart & soul from cruel and thoughtless people including being called a monster.  The emotional and mental toll impacted him greatly, through which he battled anorexia, cutting, and contemplating suicide.

A major turning point came a few years ago when he attended a Shriners Burn Survivors camp where he made the decision not to let stranger’s words wound him and felt a new empowerment for the first time. He began listening to singer Colton Dixon, whose music motivated him to keep on going, particularly a song with the lyrics “Scars remind us who we are”. He began to realize that being burned did not mean the end; it was a new beginning.

Johnny believes each of us should embrace our differences and share our stories.       He constantly inspires others who have gone through similar tragedies and emotional difficulties with his positive and courageous attitude, telling them:

  1. I am more than what I was
  2. I wouldn’t be the strong and confident person I am today without the accident
  3. I wouldn’t know all the great people I know now
  4. I am a burn survivor and a proud burn thriver! My scars show “I survived”
  5. I believe that everything happens for a reason
  6. I don’t let depression own me anymore

Why I want to inspire and help others:

There are 1.5 million people burned each year globally and more than half of those people are hiding. I know what they’re feeling, and it just doesn’t have to be that way. Also, most people don’t know how to react when they see a burn survivor – this causes the burn survivors to hide, because they hate the reactions. I think if I can be a part of educating the public and helping spread awareness, to help build up other burn survivors with confidence to go on about their days shamelessly in public. I’d just love to be the person to help make that happen.

“No one deserves to be unhappy in the way they look, because we’re all beautifully unique. Just sometimes other flowers get more colors (like us, people who have gone through tragedy) and we just don’t think we fit in with the rest of the flowers. But the truth is, we are the most beautiful of all the flowers. So embrace your different colors, you’re pretty, there’s no one else like you.” Quote by Johnny Quinn

Dream of a Lifetime

Several years ago, Johnny was empowered when he made the decision not to let stranger’s words hurt him anymore. He began listening to singer Colton Dixon, whose music motivated him to keep going. Through the lyrics of one song “scars remind us who we are”, Johnny realized that being burned was a different and new beginning. It was Johnny’s lifelong dream to meet Colton Dixon & on September 28, 2017, the Courageous Faces Foundation was able to make that dream come true!  READ MORE

Johnny embodies the true meaning of the Foundation’s Courageous Spirit Award. With a passion and drive to help others not just accept, but feel good about themselves, he leads by example with his amazing attitude and love of life. Johnny inspires everyone to embrace who they are and to enjoy each day THRIVING not just surviving.

Johnny, who is a HUGE Batman fan, is a young man from Tennessee working towards his dream of becoming an actor. He enjoys pressing iron at the gym and hanging out with his siblings. Johnny loves talking to people and inspiring others to feel good about themselves, however Johnny has not always felt this way.

Because it was Johnny’s lifelong dream to meet Colton Dixon, on September 28, 2017, the Courageous Faces Foundation was able to make that dream come true!

* Batman Video of Colton Inviting Johnny to Concert

It all started at the Courageous Faces Foundation Denver SuperHeroes Gala, where after reaching out to Colton Dixon, the Foundation received a video that was played as a surprise to Johnny, our Courageous Spirit Award Winner.  It was a personal invitation from Colton Dixon, dressed as Batman, to join him as his guest at an upcoming concert. The foundation then provided and made the travel arrangements for Johnny to fly to Knoxville, Tennessee to both attend Colton’s Positive Air Tour performance at the Knoxville Coliseum and to meet the amazing singer whose music had changed his life.

The trip was a whirlwind 48-hours of excitement that Johnny was able to share with his sister Leah. The day of the big event started with Johnny, Leah and Courageous Faces Foundation Senior Program Manager Dee Nichols being interviewed by Mark Packer at Channel 8 NEWS WVLT TV. The group was then whisked off to the coliseum to attend a VIP Question & Answer session followed by the long-awaited personal meet & greet for Johnny with Colton.

As Johnny and Colton met, the time was filled with incredible smiles, nonstop hugs, sharing of stories, and exchanging of gifts. Johnny gave Colton a Foundation T-shirt and hat as well as an extraordinary drawing of Colton and his wife that Johnny had stayed up all night to draw. Colton presented Johnny with a T-shirt and CD and then in an amazing surprise, asked his manager to set up a second time for the two to get together after the concert where he could play his song Scars. The concert itself rocked the house & had everyone on their feet for four hours dancing and singing to Colton Dixon, Tauren Wells, Gawvi, Britt Nicole and Skillet.

The second meet and greet was as amazing as the first and Johnny got a personal introduction to all of Colton’s band members. The two live streamed on Facebook together and Colton personally played his song “Scars” just for Johnny–the song that had turned his life around.

*Colton Singing Privately to Johnny *

It was a night that truly fulfilled and exceeded a lifelong dream for Johnny and was a privilege for everyone that got to experience it with him. Many of you helped make that possible. Thank you for supporting the Courageous Faces Foundation!

Together we can make a difference. One Person . . . One Family . . . At A Time!

Fulfilling the Dream of a Lifetime!

It was Johnny’s lifelong dream to meet Colton Dixon & on September 28, 2017, the Courageous Faces Foundation was able to make that dream come true! Read More

John’s Photos

Jadiant’s Blog


Here's another poem I wrote! I've been through the fire, I grew through the liars. I must sore higher. I will fight for my light to shine bright. I can ignite the world to be brighter. I am not a victim of the flames, for I overcame to not be tamed by the flames. I am a Phoenix, I am a survivor, and I will a stand harder. Scars from the accident, shards from the cripplement. I am unashamed, I have proclaimed to not be the same as I was, but be better today than I was yesterday. People gawk, people stalk, & people will walk with you on your journey. You are different, I am different, don't hold resentment. Be the treatment for someone's emotional pain. Being burned doesn't mean the end, it's just a new beginning. I am burned, I am not broken. Nor will be shaken. I strive to thrive in my scars. I must show that you can still glow. Because phoenixes are astonishing. You are astonishing, and you survived for a reason, I survived for a reason, and I am not making that treason. Pain doesn't have to be all the rain you've ever obtained. You can still change. You have such a range to engage. Break open the cage, and embrace your flames, don't be tamed, or ashamed. Because you are strong, beautiful and unique, not wrong dreadful, or a freak. It's not over, life is a test, don't put yours to rest. Depression is our suspension, don't listen to the tension. Sometimes suffering, is a blessing in disguise. don't be victimized, you must realize, life gets better. This road is cold, but be bold, so you won't be told to scold. Kill them with kindness, break their madness. Don't let the smoke cloak you. Blow it away, cast it away, for today you are a Phoenix, and forever more will your light shine bright, because you fought the rot in your soul. Take control, and let's just stroll through life...


John, your poems are both beautiful and inspiring!



In dark times we tend to wallow.. Wallow in tears we do. In dark times we are shallow, shallow people we are. We tend to ripple, such crippled people we are. In dark times, are we living? Or are we dying? In dark times depression is our suspension. We tend to feel, but are we real? Is the sky really the limit? Or are we going to plummet. These dark times are not in control. You are the one who chooses to stroll, whether it be through sadness, or gladness. We are in control of the feelings to come, no situation will break us who to become. Live life to the fullest. There are no limits to what one can do, be you. Don't be someone's shoe. You're you for a reason, don't make that treason. This poem I've written, is not a fluffy kitten. Life is a test, don't put yours to rest. I'm here to show, so that you can glow, and be the reason, for someone's treason, to be the version of conversion to happiness and gladness, it is proof to show, that you can still glow in these dark times. You are strong in these dark times, it is not wrong to sing a song in these dark times. People can be evil, but you must reveal to be the kindle, for the light must be bright, so you can fight for the rights of who you are. Strong, beautiful, unique, not wrong, dreadful, or a freak. In these dark times, you can be happy. Stay strong guys!!! Hope you liked my poem! 。



Welcome to Special People Special Needs Foundation. We are proud to have you as one of our Faces of the Foundation.



Everyone wants happiness no one wants pain, but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain


Leave a New Comment