Hear what Christy Taylor (daughter of LHNC founder Dr. Kevin Pallis) has to say about her experiences at Fun Day on the Fort Peck reservation.
Boot Camp 2015 was life-altering. I could end there, and you could take away whatever you wanted from that sentence and I am sure it would apply. I didn’t just have the obvious epiphany that my life is A LOT better than I sometimes think. Sure, school is stressful, being married is stressful, wanting to start your own practice is stressful…but dang is it cushy compared to what I saw in Montana. But I was expecting that “a-ha moment." It’s the little things I didn’t expect that made the biggest impact.
First off, I found myself once again surrounded by other DC’s (successful DC’s, by the way…the best kind to be!) and their friends and families (oh, don’t forget incredible naturopaths too!!). I had more meaningful conversation with each and every one of them than I have had here at Life U in a long time. It’s truly uplifting to be around TNR docs. Even when you’re not talking chiropractic, the energy or the vibe is so much more ‘above the line’ if you want to be cliche about it. Even when you’re talking about a ‘below the line’ subject, it’s just the energy of the group. Everyone is simply there to serve the little kids and make a difference. I hope those of you who didn’t hear Kenny Smoker say what a difference we are making take note. It seems small, what we did that weekend. But with dropping suicide rates and numbers of at-risk children, I would say we- a group of passionate DC’s from all walks of life- are making a difference. Let’s not ever slow down.
Second, I really wish my mom could have been there. Special doesn’t even touch the surface. It was magical to have my father, my sister, my brother, and my husband all there. Each of us doing our thing, but coming together on so many levels. I will never forget the almost daily phone calls and texts from my dad about the upcoming rock concert. And when they set us up on that flat bed truck to play rock and roll live for the little kids, his face made it all worth it. We made jokes about having to sing back-up for dad and how it should be the other way around, but seeing LHNC in action, seeing his dream and passion for people play out all around me…I just want him to know I was honored to be up there on that stage with him. We had so much fun! Despite a few locals’ opinions, I would say we totally rocked!!
I loved the families out there, too. The Sayles and Masserant boys, the McDonough/Dunton team, the Freedlunds, Ava…what a message to send to your kids. They got to see how fortunate they are, but they learned how to serve and work at the same time. They learned to give selflessly, and to have fun doing so. Those children will never be afraid of hard work, and I guarantee they will have a very positive relationship with volunteering in the future. It also shows them what kind of parents they have…words can’t even describe what kind of people you all are (even those without their families there). Most people take their kids to the beach, or to the arcade. What a paradigm shift.
The smiles, the joyous screams, the kickball (that was NOT funny when it hit the horse and it reared up, thank goodness there was not a kid on his back), the face painting, the watermelon, the backpacks, the pony rides, the red hot dogs, the hundreds of nervous systems that got a little love, the hydro-therapy room, the colored sand, the tattoos, the basketball court, the painting, and everything I am forgetting to write…I remember it all, but I remember their smiling faces most. If you have never been to Boot Camp, or if it has been a while since you have, get out there. You’re needed. You CAN make a difference. Thank you to everyone who made this trip unforgettable. Until next time...
Every once in a while as a parent, you get glimpses of your children’s core, their essence. Every parent wants the best for their child. Reading this writing brings big tears to my eyes knowing that LHNC will be embraced by the next generation. The next generation including my 2 daughters, my son, and son in law Cliff and others will take LHNC and add to it, expand the vision and help even more Native American kids while keeping the vision intact.
LHNC is a celebration of hope, or life. It asks the bold question “is there going to be a brighter future for the kids on this reservation and beyond, or is this problem permanent?” You can tell when well intentioned governments, bureaucracies or agencies don’t have the answers for things that society actually thinks they do. They always villianize the kids, the culture and the traditions of anyone who we are at odds with. This problem spans over 500 years. So many society members take the governments words literally and don’t think for themselves. They stop caring as a society and think that the government can do everything with war, force, laws and money. The government can’t solve this problem, only people can. That’s where we come in.
There are no such things as permanent problems, just people who don’t care to right the wrong. Of course we are dealing with very somber, difficult circumstances on the reservation, but the way our events are designed, they are fun for the volunteers and fun for the kids! Producing results is a way of life in LHNC. Helping kids living in third world conditions doesn’t have to be devoid of fun. We are having lots of fun wiping out extreme hopelessness. Won’t you join us? As always, thanks goes out to all past, present and future donors!