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(courtesy photo)

A Chinese New Year Love Story

Celebration is very personal for this Chick-fil-A restaurant owner

San Diego CA— Tracey Abbott, owner-operator of the Chick-fil-A restaurant in San Diego’s 4S Ranch community in the North County, has a very personal reason to celebrate Chinese New Year on Friday, Feb. 16.

Abbott credits Chinese medicine with helping her husband Chris Hanson walk again. Hanson, who is living with an advanced form of multiple sclerosis, previously worked as a professional tennis player and was told by doctors he would never walk again. Abbott then turned to Chinese medicine to care for her husband.

Tracy and Chris (courtesy photo)

“After months of hard work and treatment, Chris walked me down the wedding aisle unassisted,” said Abbott. “It was the greatest accomplishment of both of our lives.”

Now, Abbott is now earning a doctorate in Chinese medicine from San Diego-based Pacific College of Oriental Medicine while she manages the Chick-fil-A restaurant.

Prior to opening the restaurant in February 2017, Abbott spent 19 years working in the corporate world as a top-tier management consultant with PepsiCo., Foot Locker and other consumer companies. She created long-range strategic plans for women’s, kids and digital audiences and apparel sales at Foot Locker, Champs, Eastbay and Foot Action in 23 countries. She worked nine years overseas, including China. She has visited 67 countries and completed a master’s degree in business administration in Paris while speaking French.

Abbott reconnected with Hanson over social media. They had first met as middle school students living in Alabama. Their first date was in the seventh grade at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Birmingham. They grew up and moved away to different cities. When they reconnected, Chris was confirmed to a wheelchair. He has been diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, one of the worst forms of MS, a disabling neurological disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and the rest of the body.

Tracey then fell in love with Chris and chose love over her corporate job. She quit the corporate world to take care of Chris. When traditional MS drugs didn’t seem to be helping Chris, Tracey tried Chinese medicine, mostly acupuncture and herbs, which she credits for allowing Chris to walk again.

On Friday, Feb. 16, guests to the Chick-fil-A restaurant will find a display of Chinese medical instruments and an information table about Chinese medicine methods, such as acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, electro-stimulation, Gua Sha, magnets and others. Also, free Chick-fil-A side dishes will be available to customers with the purchase of an entree between 5 and 7 p.m.

“It’s a blast to operate this restaurant in our culturally diverse community of 4S Ranch,” said Abbott. “We have a wide variety of customers, some of whom do not speak English and have never set foot in a Chick-fil-A. I can relate to them because of my global perspective.”

The Chick-fil-A restaurant at 4S Ranch is located at the Del Sur Town Center, 17115 Camino del Sur, San Diego. For directions, visit www.cfarestaurant.com/delsurtowncenter.