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Palmer Team Helps Walkers Go the Distance at 2010 Susan G. Komen Fundraiser

11/24/2010 (Archived)

For the fifth year in a row (and sixth time in the past seven years), Palmer College of Chiropractic served as the official “chiropractic partner” of the San Francisco “Komen For The Cure” 3-Day Walk, and the West Campus Sports Council provided care for hundreds of the more–than–1,400 participants who walked 60 miles the weekend of Sept. 9-11, en route to raising $3.7-million for breast cancer research and awareness.

West alumni Dr. Brant Pedersen (West, ’04) and Dr. Beate Teufel (West, ’04) once again served as co-captains of the Palmer team that included seven other DCs, and 14 Sports Council members (seven interns and seven students). The three-day event started near the Cow Palace in Daly City, and concluded at Marina Green in San Francisco.

Conditions were similar to those cared for by Palmer team members at prior events: lumbar spine/pelvis/hip fixations and muscle dysfunction; knee, ankle, and foot biomechanical dysfunction; and various muscle strains. One-third of the walkers cared for the Palmer team were receiving chiropractic care for the first time, and approximately 15 percent of the walkers were Komen For The Cure veterans who’d received care from the Palmer team at prior 3-day events.

“The walkers loved the care they received from our group of doctors and Palmer students, and they’d come back and ask for them by name when returning for subsequent visits,” said Dr. Pedersen, a past CCA Student of the Year honoree, who has served as sports medicine captain or co-captain of the Palmer team in each of the past five Komen For The Cure events.

However, Dr. Pedersen said, “2010 was the best by far.”

“The doctors, interns, observers, and administrative staff were a wonderful mix of experience, compassion, focus and fun,” said Dr. Pedersen, of Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos, Calif.

“I told the interns and observers that we helped so many people over the three days in an on-site setting that I wanted to take all of them with me, and go serve around the world.”

“This event is incredibly rewarding, and the spirit of the 3-Day carries me through several months after the event,” says Dr. Teufel, who maintains a practice in San Jose, and whose mother is a 36-year breast cancer survivor.

“I also crew because I have seen how chiropractic is able to help the walkers getting through the walk. When I started as an intern on my first walk in 2003, we helped probably around 150 people, and it was a great event. This year between the first ‘pit stop,’ lunch, and ‘base camp’ we helped close to 1000 walkers. The word is spreading, patients come even before they are injured to get adjusted, and I am very exited about it.

“Several years ago I started this event as an intern, and now I am leading the sports medical team. It has come full circle for me. I could not be more proud to be a Palmer West alumna, now that I see where we started seven years ago, and how far this event has come in promoting chiropractic.”

In addition to Drs. Pedersen and Teufel, other DCs included: Dr. Pauline Anderson (West, ’90), Dr. Andrew Cohen (West, ’04), Dr. Lisa Covey, Dr. Dade Donovan, Dr. Barbara Kempeny (West, ’99), Dr. Michael Lord (West, ’10), and Dr. Sarah Lord (West, ’08).

“I’ve assisted at various Palmer-associated events, but this is a special event, for the rewarding encounters we experience all three days,” says Dr. Anderson, associate clinical professor in the West Campus Clinic.

“We get great feedback from the walkers, many of whom comment how they couldn’t have completed the walk without our care. That fills me with a great sense of pride, as a chiropractor and as a Palmer alumna.”

West Sports Council interns included: Brandon Boothe, Mike Larson, Adam Meisenhelder, Oliver Sanchez, Trisha Smith, Jeff Word and Zach Zughschwerdt. Non-intern Sports Council assistants included: Josh Bruce, Stephanie Coleman, Laurel Cragg, Kayleigh Knudson, Kevin Rose, Mike Smith and Lisa Viapiano.

Intern Meisenhelder, president of the West Sports Council, has provided care to world-class athletes at such prestigious events as the Sea Otter Classic cycling festival in Monterey, the National Senior Games at Stanford Univ., and the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon; however, he ranks his participation in providing care for walkers at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day fundraiser for breast cancer in San Francisco as “one of my proudest moments as a chiropractic student.”

“We treated the walkers starting at 6 a.m., with the last treatments at around 9 p.m. The days were long and difficult; however, being a part of something so big was extremely satisfying,” said Meisenhelder.

“I’m so glad that Palmer makes this event a priority,” said Dr. Pedersen.

“A lot of work goes into planning our participation in the event, which involves multiple people from Dr. (Greg) Snow in San Jose, to clinic administration in Davenport. And I can’t say enough about the collective effort of the interns and assistants, who attend pre-event meetings, assist with preparation of necessary materials and paperwork, and sleep on the hard ground in cold tents for two nights.

“But we do it with style – and a smile. Which makes me proud to be a Palmer grad.”