NORTH LIBERTY- Family & Sport Chiropractic, of North Liberty, made its first major step in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation last month, with its inaugural fundraiser held Friday, June 1.
"We had a pretty good turnout, lots of kids," said Angela Bell, Director of Marketing for the office.?The event raised nearly $3,000.
"Our goal is at least $10,000," Bell noted. "So far in this year, we're about halfway there."
Family & Sport was in festive spirits with live music, a raffle, a silent auction, a balloon artist and food and beverages next door. The office entrance hosted a face painter and chairs set up for free massages, the tips from which were donated to the Make-A-Wish fund. The foundation will determine a child to receive a wish in the Johnson County area.
As first reported by the North Liberty Leader in February, the inspiration for Dr. Mohamed Kareem's charitable efforts trace back to late 2016, when he was the first to notice unusual physical behavior in Bell's son, Chandler. The teen was diagnosed with a benign but aggressive brain and spinal tumor in February 2017, leading to radiation treatments and an unsuccessful surgery. In response to his dire circumstances, Make-A-Wish granted Chandler a trip to Hawaii. Bell said the vacation offered her family relief following the turbulence of his recovery and radiation treatments, and for her and Dr. Karim, the trying experience made supporting other local children through Make-A-Wish the obvious choice.
"I can definitely say they're one of the positives that's come with what happened to my son," she remarked. "I know that there's something out there that's bigger than me, that's bigger than us, and we're here for each other. So that's kind of what we wanted to go on- you have to give to get."
Family & Sport has since made the Make-A-Wish Foundation a fixture of its practice.
The office has other summer events planned, including a back-to-school raffle Monday, July 30, and a "Dunk the Doc" cookout Friday, August 3, from 5 to 8 p.m., with a $5 meal, yard games and a chance to drop Dr. Kareem in a water tank.
Family & Sport is also hosting Lunch and Learn health talks for businesses and groups. First-time patient fees from these events will be donated to the charity of the business's choice, or back to the company employees.
In addition, the practice continues its special offer of just $40 for a first-time patient fee, which includes an initial exam, x-ray, physiotherapy and adjustment, with 100 percent of the cost being donated to Make-A-Wish.
"That's something that we'll definitely do all year, as well," Bell said.
She also cited gratitude towards patients who have continued to offer Make-A-Wish donations outside of the office's fundraising events.
"It's been really cool to see how giving other people are in the community."