John was a great friend: Always in a good mood and happy, he was an enrichment to everybody, wherever he went. In school, at every party or when playing hockey. John always particularly enjoyed sports, was a gifted hockey player and in defiance of his disease tried to play at the highest level at any time – he truly was a fighter, who never gave up.

 

He was well liked, especially because his open-mindedness helped him make friends easily. Through his friendly funny but warm-hearted nature he was both well-known and liked throughout the whole school, as well as in the various friend groups that he had. He was a great friend that always had an open ear, a sound piece of advice or a joke at hand to jeer someone up. This is how we will always keep him in our memory.

 

When John got his diagnosis in winter of 2015 – GPA – none of us, his friends, knew to which extent the disease would restrict his life. It was only after a while that we realised how much he was affected: the medication gave him strong headache, he was not allowed to drink alcohol anymore and he was sick most of the time. In February 2017 John got his first strong aggravation, a push of the disease, triggered by a sinusitis.

The disease had by now infested his lungs, the medication didn´t take effect and his condition worsened rapidly so that he had to be treated in hospital.

Quickly he was transferred to intensive care, required artificial respiration and was put into an artificial coma.

Only then did we all realise how bad things had become, and for the first time did we think about the possibility, that we might never see our friend John ever again.

 

On the 5th of April John died. The loss could not have been greater. That John lost his fight against GPA doesn’t mean we will give up fighting, but rather continue – and someday maybe even win – the fight against this terrible disease.

We want to help all the people affected by GPA, to ease their personal fight against it, to support them – in John´s name. He would have wished we would, and he would have done the same for us.