The Domino Effect

Written by Rachel Anderson on December 10, 2020

Tony Gonzalez met Alan and Delwyn for the first time a year after his burn injury – Like Alan, Tony lost fingers during his accident and he wasn’t sure how or if he could return to his previous job as a carpenter. After seeing Alan play the piano, Tony was inspired and went on to complete a second degree and start a home building business. In 2003, Jamie Nieto was an inspiring golfer, but after his burn injury, he wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to swing a golf club again. That all changed when he met Tony. Tony visited Jamie in the hospital – similar to the experience Tony had with Alan – and shared support, hope, and encouragement.

When Tony came in and mentioned that he played golf, I looked at his hands and saw that he had less fingers than I had. I kind of thought, ‘Well if Tony can play golf then I can figure out a way to do this’."


Last year, Jamie’s dream came true when he became the head professional at a local golf course. Alan recognized the importance and need for peer support for our community – and without his vision, it is very possible that Tony and Jamie would have never met.

I would like to thank him for saving my life in so many ways.

I wouldn’t have survived or be alive without the doctors and family - but I wouldn’t be living without the Phoenix Society and I am living with the Phoenix Society. All of this because of Alan’s vision because one man saw the need for this. I feel fulfilled because of him.” - Tony

Learn more about Jamie’s journey and experience meeting Tony here.