Ashley Maurer, an Air Force veteran and chiropractic student at the NUHS Florida-site, was recently awarded a $3,000 scholarship from National University during The Patriot Ball, a fundraising event, November 6 in Ohio.
The Patriot Ball benefits The Patriot Project, a grassroots movement to provide chiropractic care to all active military, their families, wounded warriors and all Gold Star dependents. As part of the event, colleges were encouraged to offer scholarships to students that served or are currently a member of the U.S. Armed Forces rather than buying a table.
Maurer served a four-year term in the U.S. Air Force starting in 2003. During that time, she served as a member of the military police and was the only female on the Emergency Service Team, which is charged with protecting their military base. She was Vindicator Alarm and Armor certified and also received a Global Award on Terrorism and a Medal of Achievement.
“Throughout my time in the military, I learned as much as I could. Every time there was an opportunity to improve or accomplish something, I took it,” she said.
After leaving the military in 2007, she pursued a career in business and worked her way up to vice president of a Fortune 500 company. However, after having a child, she decided to follow a calling in chiropractic medicine.
“I knew I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do,” she said. “I wanted to help people.”
Maurer had many veteran friends who experienced significant health improvements from chiropractic medicine, including herself. Since joining the military, Maurer had back problems due to carrying heavy equipment during regular six-mile runs.
When Maurer had surgery to alleviate her back problems, things got worse. Instead of healing her back pain, a nerve was hit during surgery, paralyzing her from the waist down. Traditional medicine didn’t offer a lot of options.
“I decided to fight,” she said.
She reached out to a chiropractic physician who utilized several modalities including ultrasound therapy, functional electrical stimulation, high-frequency stimulation, various exercises and myofascial release therapies. Six months later, she was walking again. Today, she’s almost regained full mobility. In October, she was able to ride a bike for the first time.
“I think the experience will help me understand what some of my patients might be going through,” she said. “It will help make me a better practitioner.”
When she graduates from National University in December, she’s looking forward to joining a chiropractic practice and helping veterans along with other patients. Among the military and veterans, she believes chiropractic care is especially important.
“I think it needs to be more readily available,” Maurer said. “I’m happy to help facilitate that.”