Networking with a passion
The cause of finding a cure for cancer is dear to me because, like many participants, I have lost friends and family to the dreaded disease. It delighted me to know that one of the sponsors was the Arizona Association of Chiropractic.
As a gesture of partnership, I had their logo printed on the shirts that my friend and I wore throughout the race. That logo along with the 62 names of friends, family and strangers I had met at airports were proudly displayed on our backs throughout the walk. Many passers-by remarked about the logo and I was able to promote chiropractic through an event so dear to my heart.
On day two of the three day, 20 mile a day walk, a sweaty young man in combat boots stepped up beside me. His steps were slow and halting, his face beet red from the sun.
I recognized the "blistered" walk immediately as I, too, felt like I was walking on painful water pillows. He pointed to the logo on my shirt which catapulted us into a conversation on alternative health care.
He talked about his reservations of chiropractic care, citing bad press and poor reports from unnamed acquaintances. I was able to share my experience, not as a DC, which I am not, but as a patient. We laughed and joked about our sunburns, our aches and pains and the fact that we had only 16 more miles to go for the day.
As is the custom of these walks, I then asked who he was walking for.
He looked at me, tears welling in his eyes and said nothing. We walked together for well over another hour, both in tears, me reaching out to offer a comforting touch on his arm, he responding with a bob of his head.
When we arrived at the next water stop, he stopped, faced me and shared that his wife had been the one to volunteer for the walk. He had not. A couple of days before the walk, his wife had been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.
He was walking because she could not.
Surgery was immediate and she was lying in a hospital 200 hundred miles away insisting that he take her place. He thanked me for stepping in beside him, walking in the silence he needed, sharing the pain he was feeling. At the end of the day, as we hugged goodbye, both wiping the wet from our eyes, he smiled wide and promised to see a chiropractor upon his return home.
I didn't have an agenda that day. I didn't want anything more than to offer a shoulder to someone whose need I recognized and whose name I don't even know. A simple chiropractic logo gave me an opportunity to help someone and in doing so maybe change a mind about a wonderful health care alternative.
Twenty miles never seemed so short.
Do you have an experience that might have changed someone's mind about chiropractic you'd like to share with us? Just comment below and let us all know!