Pictured are Rotarian Dan Larson, left, guest speaker Christian Francois, middle, and his wife Kassandra.  Francois spoke at the March 5, 2018, Beaver Dam Rotary luncheon meeting about his life experience.  He was born in Haiti and taken from his mother at a young age and put in an orphanage where he was regularly beaten and given little food.  He thinks he was born in 1960, but does not know his birthdate.  He became sick with typhoid and yellow fever.  In order to tend to his condition, Nuns kidnapped him and took him to their boarding school.  After he was nursed back to health, he helped at the school pushing wheelchairs and helping the blind.  He then became unable to walk, so the Nuns arranged for him to go to Maryland to the National Institute of Health, where his right leg was amputated.  He did know what was going one because he spoke only French.  He did not know they were going to amputate his leg until he woke up and saw that it was gone.  He stated it was a triple shock; new country; new language; and no leg.  He was about 15 years old.  He was sponsored by the Episcopal Church and was sent to a private school and put in the 6th grade.  When he graduated, the school gave him a medal of honor.  He graduated high school when he was about 22.  


He did not have a green card, so could not get a real job.  He didn't know what to do.  He had a dream that he saw Abraham Lincoln in Illinois.  He asked Lincoln what he should do.  In his dream Abraham Lincoln told him to turn himself over to the court system.  Lincoln told him that the judge would help him out.  Against the advice of all the people who were helping him, he  turned himself in.  The judge helped him to get his green card, just as Lincoln told him he would.  After working for 4 years he applied for citizenship.  He is now a citizen of the United States.


He met his wife at a support group camp for cancer survivors where he was a volunteer.  His wife came to the camp because she had cancer.  After a few years they started dating.  He did not want to marry her until after he was a citizen because he did not want her to think that the only reason he wanted to marry her was because it would be easier for him to become a citizen.  His wife, Kassie, is from the Cambria area.  They moved to this area because Kassie wanted to be closer to her aging parents. Christian is currently attending school at Moraine Park, studying IT, and volunteering at BDCH.