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Michele DeLuca

The idea came to her when she was running a half-marathon in June. 

Kristin Jacobsen is that type of person. The Pine Avenue chiropractor says she gets her best ideas when she runs. She also uses that time to pray.

It was a hot, muggy day and she was running in a race called "The 50-yard Finish" which ended on the 50-yard line at Bills Stadium. 

It was near the three-mile mark, right around the first drink station, when she heard a voice remind the runners to grab a cup. "Don't forget to hydrate," the voice said, adding "and thank your veterans who are serving you."

That's when the idea dropped into her head.

"I thought to myself, I should be serving them," she told me the other day during a conversation in her tidy office, located just across the street from the Pine Avenue Veteran's Administration clinic.

That day, as she continued to run, she said she'd been mulling over all the bad news in the media, especially about the care some veterans were getting in VA clinics across the country. 

"Then I heard God say, 'what are you doing to help?'" 

We all know that when God talks, it pays to listen. So, she did.

"If I'm not doing anything myself to change what's going on then I'm just as much to blame," she said about her revelation.

By the next mile, she had decided that she would offer chiropractic care and health coaching, free of charge, to any man or woman who was injured in battle. For Kristin, it's a logical way to say "thank you."

"I just want to serve my country by serving those who fought for the freedom that my daughter and I share," she said, looking over at the reception desk of her tidy office, where her daughter, Meghan, 11, sat with a family friend.

She know's there's a lot of red tape involved in giving free service to war-wounded vets. So, she's careful to say it this way: "It's not free care. I'm paying."  She's not sure what the response will be from vets, but depending on how it goes, she's hoping to someday expand her offer to all veterans who have served.

And she has big even bigger plans to come, including a celebration of veterans set for Sept. 12, the anniversary of the day after 9-11, when the country came together, she said, "indivisible, under God."

If all goes as planned, her celebration will take place at the War Memorial at Hyde Park, with lots of gifts for veterans, food and music.  

One local attorney has already given her a gift card for $500 for the event. A business gave her $1,000 worth of products.

"It's infectious," she said of the response to her plan. "That's how I know it's supposed to happen."

Further, she hopes to create a non-profit called Healing Heroes and work towards creating a day each month to honor our soldiers. 

Jacobsen gave me the feeling she could actually make these dreams happen. From the parts of her life story she shared with me in confidence, I can tell that she's energized by the wisdom she's gained through healing from personal challenges, which has brought her the energy to create something new.

"I'm hoping this will inspire people," she told me. "If they know a neighbor down the street who is struggling, perhaps they can maybe make a meal, buy a supermarket gift card, mow their lawn or cut their hair."  

She's the type of person who reminds me of why I have hope for the world. We're all in this together and people like Dr. Kristen Jacobsen remind us that if you want to make the world a better place, you have to do something to make it happen.

I'm thinking that the rest of us might want to get moving, before God starts whispering in our ears.

 

 

Contact columnist Michele DeLuca at 282-2311, ext. 2263 or email michele.deluca@niagara-gazette.com.

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