Cameron Stewart pursues his childhood dream at Palmer
From 2002 to 2008, Cameron Stewart was a Navy Hospital Corpsman serving alongside the Marines where he attained the rank of 2nd class Petty Officer, Fleet Marine Force. His tour included deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. "During my service, I jumped out of helicopters and carried over 400 pounds," says Cameron, who's now a 12th quarter student at Palmer's Port Orange campus. "As a result I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disorder and compression fractures in my spine."
Cameron was in his 3rd quarter at Palmer when the pain from his injuries got so bad that he went from a fully active individual to completely disabled. "The pain affected me so much that I resorted to taking eight OxyContin tablets a day and had to walk with a cane," he says. For Cameron, surgery was not an option. Instead, he continued chiropractic care and began an anti-inflammatory diet. A year later, he could walk without a cane and bike more than five miles.
Cameron grew up wanting to help people. His mother was a nurse and his father worked in a psychiatric hospital. He had his first chiropractic adjustment in high school, which sparked his interest in this unique way of helping the body heal itself. "I wanted a better way to provide health care to my community. After my military service, I completed my undergrad degree and pursued my childhood dream of becoming a chiropractor."
For Cameron, choosing a chiropractic college was easy. "I chose Palmer because all of the chiropractors who treated me were Palmer grads," he says. "I also wanted to go to the original chiropractic college and felt that Palmer is the leader in chiropractic education. There was no second choice. I chose the Florida Campus because my wife and I share a love for the ocean."
"My overall experience at Palmer has been absolutely wonderful," he adds. He's an active member and club officer of the Upper Cervical Club and attended the Clinic Abroad Program trip to St. Vincent Island.
"Clinic Abroad was a phenomenal way of seeing the miracle of the human body express its own healing abilities through the assistance of the chiropractic adjustment," he says. "I was so grateful to be able to help people and hone my clinical skills at the same time. Everyone should have the opportunity for this kind of experience."