From tragedy in Iraq to the champion of "Dancing With the Stars," actor J.R. Martinez's story has inspired Hollywood, as well as burn survivors across the country.
Martinez suffered burns to 40 percent of his body when his Humvee hit a landmine in Iraq in 2003.
J.R. Martinez Wins 'Dancing With the Stars'
After his recovery, he focused his energies on speaking about his experiences, and nabbed a role on ABC's "All My Children," eventually landing him in this season's race for the mirror ball trophy.
Martinez and professional partner Karina Smirnoff claimed the victory Tuesday night.
Della Wright, 50, was anxious watching the finale.
"My niece and I were sitting here, and I had to tell her to be quiet because my husband was already in bed," she said.
Wright is more than simply a fan. She is burn survivor who started the People's Burn Foundation in 1997 after losing two children in a house fire.
"My three children and I were in a house fire back in 1991. It happened in the middle of the night. The smoke detectors were not properly placed in our apartment," she said.
Wright's 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter were killed in the fire. Her then-6-year-old daughter was severely burned and Wright suffered burns to half of her body.
"It did change me emotionally because I wasn't the same, and I did worry when I was in the hospital whether anyone would be able to love me again," she said.
Wright has since found love and hope. She said Martinez is an inspiration to people suffering from burns and scars.
"He got out there and he gave it his all, and he did not let what people could see change the way he was," she said. "You don't have to be a victim. You made it through and now you are a survivor and life goes on and good things will happen to you."
The People's Burn Foundation provides furniture, clothes and household items to families affected by fire. The organization also provides emotional support.
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