Doctor's office helps fulfill a child's dream

By Wayne Bryan Published October 24, 2013 at 6:00 a.m.
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Wayne Bryan / Tri-Lakes Edition

Dr. Melanie Spann of Lifeline Chiropractic in Bryant holds a sign from her 2013 campaign for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each of the stars above her head represents one new patient. A portion of the fee for a patient’s first visit is contributed to Make-A-Wish to make a dream come true for a local child. Spann selects a new philanthropic project each year.

— In November, a Saline County youngster will have a wish fulfilled with the help of Dr. Melanie Spann, her staff at Lifeline Chiropractic in Bryant and many of her patients.

While every good deed is special, the doctor has a habit of making them happen.

“We are always doing philanthropy,” Spann said. “I feel fortunate to have a practice in the community, and it’s important to give back.”

Since she opened her practice in Bryant seven years ago, Spann and her staff of four have taken on a new community-helping project. They work on it from January until December, and it often includes a special fundraising event.

Last year, Spann and Lifeline raised funds for cancer treatments for a boy in the community. She and her team held a pumpkin-patch event and raised $1,500 for the cause.

“We have done a toy drive, working with the Kiwanis Club in town,” Spann said. “During the drive, people would just come by the office and give us toys. They were not patients, just part of the community, and this was an avenue where they could help out.”

Another year, the group collected food that was donated to a local church-pantry program for families in need.

Several times, Spann has offered discounted chiropractic services to patients if they bring in what the team is collecting.

“I remember that those who donated school supplies would get $25 off on a visit,” she said. “We gave those supplies to the Bryant School District to be distributed in the schools.”

During last year’s fundraising, Spann said, she found out about the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“The people at the Mid-South Chapter in Little Rock told us how we could help grant a wish, and we decided that was what we wanted to do this year.”

Not only team members from the doctor’s office were involved this year; they also invited the community to take part in the project while learning more about chiropractic health care.

“We wanted to also raise awareness about chiropractic, as well as make a wish come true,” Spann said. “We offered a discount price for new patients, and $10 of that fee would go to Make-A-Wish.”

For each new patient, a paper star is hung from the ceiling of Spann’s office in Bryant. Hundreds of stars are in the waiting room, therapy room and elsewhere around the office. Each carries the name of a new-patient contributor.

“The office is really cool,” said Amy Perry, a Make-A-Wish Foundation development coordinator for Arkansas. “The stars are hung everywhere.

It is a very visual way to show how many people have taken part in the program.”

The doctor said the office saw hundreds of new patients and promised to make sure the goal was met to make a child’s wish come true.

“Even if we don’t make our goal with new patients,”she said, “we would make it up ourselves.”

The Lifeline team is making a wish come true, Perry said.

“They have just completed raising the $5,000 needed to make this wish come true,” Perry said. “We had a check ceremony in August, when they gave $2,500, and I got a call that they will have the other $2,500 in November, when the recipient and the wish will be revealed.”

Spann said the team plans to make an announcement about the child and the wish during the week of Nov. 18 in Bryant.

“The child has gone through a rigorous series of treatments, and we are told that the child is well enough to have the wish fulfilled,” she said. “It is a wish he and the family requested.”

“It is a very unique campaign,” Perry said. “We are used to a sponsored special event, but this has been going on all year.”

With the 2013 project coming to a close, Spann said, she and her office are beginning to turn their attention to next year.

“We looked at next year at a recent staff meeting,” she said. “We talked about helping raise funds for scholarships for wounded soldiers. That is what we are talking about for now.”

Spann said her husband is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.

With the funds in place, Spann and her office team are looking forward to making this year’s dream come true.

Staff writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at (501) 244-4460 or wbryan@arkansasonline.com.

Tri-Lakes Edition Writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at 501-244-4460 or wbryan@arkansasonline.com.

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