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Community activist gives up the NFL to pursue physical therapy


Having traveled 695 miles, a former Marine finally arrives at his destination. With a Father’s Day card in hand and overwhelming excitement, he makes his way inside the Midway Chiropractic in Des Moines. He looks for one man in particular.
“He could have mailed the card to me,” but he drove all the way from Reno just to give it to me, said Jimmy Doss, athletic trainer and physical therapist at Midway. “People in his life told him that he’d never amount to anything. I believed that he could accomplish anything.”
Doss has been mentoring at-risk youth for 17 years – taking kids to Seahawk games, attending father-daughter dances, teaching exercise and football techniques. He doesn’t work with any organization in particular. Friends and acquaintances connect him with youth that are in need of mentorship.  
“I have 25 to 30 children, all different races,” he said. “I always tell my kids, ‘never say you can’t. Don’t give up before you’ve even started.’”
Doss is living proof. Straight out of high school, he received a full-ride scholarship to play football for Washington State University. His senior year, he had the opportunity to play in the NFL. Knowing the possible health risks that come with playing in the pros, he gave up his football career. He even switched to Central University to fight the temptation of playing the game.
I had an opportunity to talk to a former linebacker who was in the NFL for 14 years,” said Doss. “He told me that he would give up all the money he had just to get rid of the pain in his hands. I’ll never forget what he told that day some 20 years ago.”
Now, as a way to combine his passion for football and exercising, Doss helps patients recover from head and body injuries. For 13 years, he has overseen all exercise rehabilitation at Midway Chiropractic. He works with clients who are handicap, those who have suffered car injuries, or struggling to lose weight. He sees around 125 patients per week.
“Jimmy is very charismatic and great to have in our office, said Dr. George Miskovic, one of Midway’s chiropractors. “I liked him from the very beginning…everybody does. He can turn a patient from feeling nervous to feeling more at ease.”
Doss’s friends couldn’t agree more.
“He has the kindest heart and the sweetest smile,” said Tanya Field. “I am honored to call him my friend.”

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