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"Our scars are another persons hope"

...often times it takes another burn survivor to encourage a burn survivor... You allowed me to not only hear but to see someone who has made it through. Marco, your scars have been my hope. Thank you for all that you do.

Sara Zimmerman

Burn survivor, 2010


Helping People Cope With Burn Injuries

Who We Are

The Marco Houpe Foundation is a nonprofit, 501c3 charitable organization based in Columbus, Ohio. It was founded out of a promise and a deep desire to help burn patients/survivors and their families cope with the everyday stressors and struggles that come with being burned.



My name is Marco Houpe. Did you know that over Twenty three Thousand people are burned and/or die in house fires each year.

Over 50 years ago I was burned in a house fire on over 85% of my body. Both arms, both legs, face, head and the left side of my chest.

This injury prompted over 38 plastic and reconstructive surgeries and a countless amount of time in Children's Hospital's burn unit and OSU Hospital Burn Ward after the age of 16. Often times these Hospital stays would happen on or near the holidays. Although very few people were allowed on the burn unit, it was always a welcome site and pleasant feeling when someone would come to visit and bring a toy or two to the kids on the unit.

This experience drove me to found The Marco Houpe Foundation; designed to help children and their family's cope with the life changes that being burned can cause.

I’m reaching my hand out to you. Please help me add just a little light and brighten an otherwise darkening situation.

Together we can all empower human potential.

Photo of founders

Tiffany’s Story

Tiffany met Marco initially in 2003. What she didn’t know is that she would meet him again in 2005 while they were both doing volunteer work for a local little league football organization. That time around, she saw Marco as a strong man with a very positive attitude and an overwhelming joy for life. For Tiffany, he was always upbeat and carried a contagious smile.

Marco’s joy bewildered Tiffany. "Despite Marco’s history, he has a positive radiance about him." say Tiffany.

His smile quickly captured Tiffany’s attention. She got to know him more and saw his inner beauty that totally outshone any outer scars that she previously noticed.

A few years later, they began dating. That’s when Marco told Tiffany his dream of helping burn survivors and his plot to make their life a little easier than the life he had. To quote Tiffany ...and the rest is history or should I say his-story."

About the Founders

Marco Houpe

Marco was born on September 3rd 1964. In December of 1965, 85% of Marco’s body was burned, most of which were third degree burns. Early on, it seemed as though Marco would not live through the night. But with the hard work and diligence of the doctors, nurses, and staff of Columbus Children’s Hospital, his vitals stabilized; However, his family received the heart-breaking news that he would not walk, run, nor ever have a normal childhood.

Despite years of surgeries, physical therapy, childhood-teasing and ridicule, Marco overcame the overwhelmingly one-sided odds. He not only walked and ran; he became a high school, college, and semi-professional football standout as well as a music writer, producer, performer, and local celebrity/Radio Air Personality.

Marco attended St. Joseph’s Academy, Columbus Academy, and Mifflin High School. He then went on to attend The American School of Radio and Television Broadcasting, Columbus State College, Bethune-Cookman University, and the University of Troy. He is an ordained minister, a certified life coach and he holds a degree in radio and television broadcasting.

Today, Marco is enjoying life. He is a football coach at Gahanna Lincoln High School and is happily married. Now, he has six children (Brandon, Nichole, Marco, Tylor, Trinity, and Maciah). Through his foundation, he is working hard to help burn survivors and their families, nationwide

Tiffany Houpe

Tiffany was born on March 4th, 1987. She attended Buckeye Local High School in Steubenville, Ohio where she made a largely respected name for herself playing softball, volleyball, and cheer-leading for four years. After graduation, Tiffany moved to Columbus where she attended Columbus State College and Ohio State University.

Tiffany is happily married to Marco and employed as a Complex Care Coordinator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

                                                                                                                           POWERED BY: Molina Health Care

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