I Had a Dream Project's First Subject, Christian Hageseth:
Man's Search for Meaning
When Christian Hageseth was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he re-read Victor Frankl’s memoir, Man’s Search For Meaning on life in Nazi death camps . Frankl said prisoners died less from disease or lack of food, but rather from lack of hope and something to live for.
“The prisoner who had lost faith in his future was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold…he simply gave up…and nothing bothered him anymore.”
“If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.”
Christian Hageseth is a man of hope. When doctors told him he had a degenerative disease and there was little he could do to stop the disease from taking over, Christian had different plans.
Six years later, this 76-year-old retired psychiatrist and author is doing better than the day he was diagnosed and is an inspiration to many others, not just with Parkinson’s disease but to all who have experienced tremendous suffering.
Christian developed a precise routine of sweating out his Parkinson’s disease through yoga and intense exercise.
Christian is the first of 10 Americans featured in this Project who transforms their suffering into a positive legacy.
This spring I was surprised to learn that he set up a non-profit, Sweating Out Parkinson’s Disease, Inc., and is leaving to Uganda to soon on a mission to provide holistic medical care to the 40,000 people living there with Parkinson’s disease who don’t have access to medication.
Christian will educate the Uganda people with Parkinson’s disease on this disease and provide medication-free solutions through exercise and yoga.