Home » The Psychology of Beating an Incurable Illness: Bob Cafaro (Transcript)

The Psychology of Beating an Incurable Illness: Bob Cafaro (Transcript)

Another thing I started to do was I looked at people who accomplished the impossible. How do they do this? Your most basic example is in 1954, the first person to run a mile in under four minutes was Roger Bannister.

Prior to that, people said, “It’s impossible! Human body can never do it.” He does it. It’s now an achievable goal.

The baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan, who threw his 7th no-hitter at the age of 44, and in that game, throwing the ball 96 miles per hour. He staved off the aging process of the human body for 25 years.

So I’ve adopted his lifestyle: every morning I begin with yoga, stretching, weight lifting, you name it, cycling. I live a very disciplined lifestyle.

In 2013, I had the privilege of meeting someone who accomplished the impossible, and that was Nando Parrado, who survived the famous plane crash in 1972 in the Andes mountains.

And when the plane crashed in the winter, high up in the mountains, Nando was thrown from row nine into the bulkhead. His skull was fractured in four places. He was given up for dead and placed in the cold with the bodies.

Three days later, he awoke from a coma, and 72 days after the crash, Nando showed up in the foothills and got help. This man has gone 37.5 miles through one of the most difficult mountain ranges in the world in the winter.

He had never seen snow, he had no survival training, no gloves, no boots, no equipment and no food. His only source of food was the people who had perished in the crash.

Mountain climbing teams that reconstructed his route said what this man did was not possible.

So I met him, and I said to him, “I always wanted to meet you and thank you because you were one of my guides when I was finished. I’m not supposed to be here.”

And he said, “I’m not supposed to be here either.”

And when this giant gave me a hug, something went through me. I felt like for the first time that I had cured myself of this incurable disease.

And I went back to my neurologist, whom I hadn’t seen for 11 years, and he did a complete series of MRIs again on my brain and spinal cord.

In 1999, my brain had over 50 active lesions, and my spinal cord had one that was 3.5 centimeters in length.

And I worked so hard at my recovery, and true to my word, I went back to work in six weeks when the orchestra season started. Wasn’t easy, but I kept going, never missed work. I missed five weeks of work that year when I was hospitalized.

So in 2013, I had a complete series of MRIs done. When my neurologist looked at the results, he said to me, “You did the impossible.” Because there were no more lesions and no traces of the disease anymore, whatsoever.

So, I was so taken out in 1999, but I worked hard, and everything came back. I got the use of my legs back, I got the use of my eyesight back, I now make it to the bathroom when I need to go.

I don’t hear helicopters anymore, and I don’t feel like I’m receiving electrical current anymore, but the most important thing, I’ve gotten the use of my hands back.

(Cello music)

(Music: “Danny Boy”)


Resources for Further Reading: 

Tiny Surprises for Happiness and Health: B.J. Fogg (Full Transcript)

Ancient Secrets of a Master Healer: Deeper Healing Solutions by Dr Clint Rogers (Transcript)

Is There Scientific Proof We Can Heal Ourselves? By Lissa Rankin (Transcript)

There’s no Shame in Taking Care of Your Mental Health: Sangu Delle (Transcript)


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