Q&A with John Kerry
Is there a particularly special moment that comes to mind when you think of Chris?
I remember having one conversation with him about what he went through daily just to put it all together. And it was something that whenever I sort of felt sorry for myself – as we are all prone to do occasionally – I just sort of said, "Whoa," you know? (I would) just think of what Chris is doing, and boy it would go away fast.
How long had you two been friends?
Oh, back to the early '90s. He was godfather to one of my cousin's kids, and so I was always hearing about him. We'd cross paths but not quite be at the same place. … Three weeks before his accident (in 1995), we were together in Boston doing an Earth Day event. And he was just completely natural, down to earth, practical, caring, engaged. There was no pretension about him at all. It was the first time we did a joint event together.
After you mentioned Chris in the second presidential debate, he called you the following Saturday. What did he tell you?
I got a very long, detailed message about how excited he was that I talked about stem-cell research and how elated he was that it was at the level it was of discussion and how hopeful he was that we could really advance it. He said he was excited about the next few weeks and wanted to be helpful and was looking forward to getting out. He offered to be available in any way he could.
He was going to campaign for you?
He was, indeed. He was ready to go. He had campaigned for me in 1996. He actually did a commercial back then talking about our friendship and his support of me. It was really just very personal and very, very touching.
Was there any hint in his voice that he wasn't feeling well?
None! I was completely shocked. I mean, I was just totally shocked. He didn't mention it. He didn't say he was going into the hospital. He didn't say, "I have this infection." He didn't say anything. He just was excited about the fact that this (stem-cell research) debate was going on and that he was hopeful about it.