Kilee Brookbank and Lori Highlander

Kilee headshot copyLori headshot copyBeautiful Scars_Cover copy



May 17, 2016
KiCam Projects

Paperback, $18.95
ISBN: 978-0-99708-150-3

304 pages

Kilee Brookbank and Lori Highlander (Cincinnati, OH)

Authors of Beautiful Scars


Elena Meredith | | 512-481-7096 | Twitter: @elenameredith



Kilee Brookbank was a typical sixteen-year-old, thinking about school, soccer, her friends, and her boyfriend. But her last ordinary day erupted in an explosion that consumed her house, burning over 45 percent of her body and sending her to the very brink of death. After thirty-eight days of surgeries, skin grafts, perpetual physical therapy and excruciating pain, she had to discover how to live again.

When Kilee returned home, she had to find a new “normal,” relearning how to tie her shoes, put on her makeup, and even turn a doorknob. In each moment of her long journey back to everyday life, she had to make choices that would define who she was and who she would become.

With unwavering support from her mom and the rest of her family, Kilee faced her journey with determination, strength and a positive attitude that inspired not only her community, but people around the world.

Told together by Kilee and Lori, Beautiful Scars is a story of recovery, healing and hope, reminding us all that we’re never powerless, never alone, and that each challenge we face helps make us the people we are meant to be.

A portion of the proceeds from the book will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati.


  • Beautiful Scars: After 45 percent of her body was burned, Kilee Brookbank sees her scars as a symbol of her survival and strength
  • A Story of Resilience and Hope: A moment can change everything—it’s what you do with each moment that defines you
  • Graduation: One extraordinary teen’s quest for a “normal” teenage life and where that is leading her after high school
  • Self-Esteem: Talking to girls and women about inner vs. outer beauty
  • Learning Not to Sweat the Small Stuff: Most teenage girls worry about what dress to wear to prom or homecoming, yet Kilee’s extra challenges put things into perspective
  • The Joy and Trials of Parenthood: How your strength as a parent is tested and the bond between you and your children deepens after a tragedy
  • Inspiring Others vs. Being Inspired: Did meeting Justin Bieber help Kilee become a “belieber” in herself?
  • Kilee Gives Back Foundation: Raising money for Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati
  • A Relatable Resource for Burn Survivors and Their Families/Caregivers
  • Where Miracles Happen: Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati is one of only four such locations for children, recognized as one of the highest quality burn centers for children in the world
  • Events: 4+ city book tour planned


Kilee Brookbank is an honor student, soccer player, shoe fanatic, animal lover—and burn survivor. Severely injured when a gas leak caused her house to explode in November 2014, Kilee was hospitalized for 38 days before returning home to a life of new challenges and a new “normal.” Kilee, a member of the 2016 graduating class of Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington High School, is preparing for her future with strength and determination that inspire everyone she meets. She and her family created the Kilee Gives Back Foundation in 2015 to support other families through times of crisis, and Kilee is devoted to paying forward the generosity and kindness she received from her community and from around the world.

Lori Highlander is, first and foremost, proud mom to daughter Kilee and son Cameron. Lori has spent 20 years as an executive in the alcohol and drug addiction field and has witnessed first-hand the impact of information and inspiration on the healing process. In 2014, Lori’s daughter, Kilee Brookbank, was severely burned in a house explosion. Kilee’s resilience and Cameron’s strength compelled Lori to launch KiCam Projects, creating an avenue to bring light to powerful stories of survival with the goal of supporting charitable endeavors and organizations. Additionally, Lori and her family formed the Kilee Gives Back Foundation, a nonprofit inspired by the family’s personal experience. Lori lives in Georgetown, Ohio, with Kilee and Cameron; her husband, Wade; and her stepsons, Collin and Houstin.

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