The crash of a small plane on Fathers’ Day in 1989 set in motion a new course for Winfield chiropractor Brian Jackson’s life.
As a result of the crash, which critically injured his parents and grandfather, the then 5-year-old Jackson suffered chronic earaches and headaches and at times had difficulty hearing. Relief from those symptoms finally came during high school, he says, when Michigan Chiropractor Bryan Strocher married Jackson’s aunt and took the teenager under his wing.
“He taught me what chiropractic is about, that it is all-natural and on the cutting edge of alternative medicine,” Jackson says. “I really experienced relief from the things that I had been going through. It was miraculous. Once I felt the immense benefits, I knew that was the path I needed to go down.”
Jackson, who joined Kauffman Chiropractic in 2010, finds his career rewarding.
“All my life I’ve wanted to be able to help people and be a doctor of some sort,” Jackson says. “The nice thing is that through chiropractic care we can do it in an all-natural healthy way, healing the body and improving patients’ quality of life.”
Jackson’s life mission is to eliminate as much human suffering as possible through chiropractic care, affecting other people’s lives in a positive way.
Jackson says as a chiropractor it is important to understand his patients’ individuality and the unique solution to their ailments. “Not every situation is cut and dry,” Jackson says. “Even though people will walk in with similar conditions and pain, it is not always the same thing that is affecting them. There is no cookie-cutter approach to it.”
One challenge, Jackson says, is educating people about chiropractic medicine and allaying their misconceptions.
Jackson, the first family member to attend college, said aside from being inspired by Strocher, he has been inspired by, Sarah, his wife of six years, and his parents.
“My wife is awesome,” Jackson says. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without her. She has supported me all along. My parents have always believed in me and always said ‘you can do anything if you put your mind to it.’”
Jackson’s mother, Mary Bucy, describes her son as a positive, highly motivated and goal-oriented person who gets joy from being involved in his community and helping others.
“He will always push to the limit and over,” Bucy says. “He finds the best in people and in all situations. Even if you are down or have a problem, he is trying to think of a solution already and how to make it better instead of it being negative back to you."
Bucy says her son enjoys learning, wanting to know why and how things work.
“He is so full of questions and wants to absorb any knowledge that will come his way,” Bucy says. “He looks at everything from all sides.”
According to Bucy, Jackson loves volunteering whether its in his church, in the local community or on a mission trip.
At Ball State University, Jackson participated in a spring break trip to Juarez, Mexico, in 2005.
“You go into the worst of the worst places,” Jackson says. “These people have basically nothing, living in cardboard-type homes.” Jackson says it was “a humbling experience for an Indiana kid.”
“You really don’t know anything about the world,” says Jackson, who continues to support the group’s efforts. “It puts things in perspective.”
Locally, Jackson through Kauffman Chiropractic has annual winter coat drives for children in need.
“It is a neat thing to be able to do,” Jackson says. “You don’t even think about people in this area needing something as simple as coats. The need is there is there now more than ever.”
Additionally, the firm and Jackson collect stuffed animals. “We are trying to build our philanthropic work,” Jackson says.
The animals are donated to local fire departments and shelters in Lake and Porter counties for holiday gifts and for use with children in crisis.
“You never know when it is going to make difference for a little child who is going through something stressful,” Jackson says.
Participating in the annual Alzheimer’s Walk is important to Jackson, who has had family members afflicted with the disease.
“I am seeing my grandfather go through some early stages of Alzheimer’s, so that is a cause near and dear to my heart, to help raise funds for research,” Jackson says. “It is one of the most mentally devastating diseases out there.”
Jackson says he saw his great-grandmother get to a point where she didn’t recognize anyone or recall names.
“The sooner we can get answers the better,” Jackson says. “That is something I am very passionate about.”
Jackson was involved in his church in Florida while attending Palmer College of Chiropractic where he earned his doctorate of chiropractic in 2010. There he started a men’s ministry and worked in the children’s ministry and with the drama team.
Now he and his wife teach first through fourth grade Sunday school classes at Suncrest Christian Church in Hobart.
“We enjoy working with kids and helping them grow in their faith,” Jackson says.
In Florida, the couple helped Salvation Army staff make holidays a little brighter for people who either didn’t have families or couldn’t be with them.
“It was a good experience,” Jackson says. “We learned a little bit about what they have gone through. I felt like they brightened my holidays too.”
Jackson has served as a Humane Society Volunteer in 2008 and at a low/no income clinic as a student doctor in 2009 and 2010.
Jackson also has organized Teachers’ Appreciation Day at Kauffman Chiropractic. Teachers get a free screening exam. The firm is extending that option to first responders and health care providers.
“We want to keep people who serve our local community healthy,” Jackson says. ”It is something I am passionate about.”