Ryan White‘s friendship with Michael Jackson - a small thread.

Taken from the book „My Own Story“ by Ryan White
Ryan was a hemophiliac who became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the US after failing to be re-admitted to school following the diagnosis. He became infected from a contaminated factor VIII blood treatment and, when diagnosed at the age of 13, was given 6 months to live.
>>Then one day Michael Jackson called me. Wow! I didn’t know why he had, except maybe because he’s from Indiana, too. He was in his car he said. „If I lose you, man, I’ll call you back,“ he told me. <<
It took a while but Ryan finally visited Michael Jackson at Neverland together with his family.

>>He said that Mom was just like his mother. So Mom got up the nerve to ask a mom-type question: „Michael,“ she said, „is it true that you sleep in an oxygen tank?“<<
>>Michael laughed. „Now Jeanne,“ he said, „you know all the stuff that’s been written about you and Ryan.“ „Oh gosh,“ Mom sind. „I understand!“<<
After this visit Ryan and Michael Jackson stayed in touch by phone, sometimes they talked twice a week. One day, Michael had a surprise for Ryan: a red Mustang which was Ryan’s favourite car. Michael had seen him at the ranch, leafing through „Mustang Monthly.“
Ryan’s mom had recorded a phone conversation between Ryan and Michael Jackson. She told him about it right after Ryan had passed and was afraid Michael might be offended, but he said he wished she’d recorded all of their talks.
In fall of 1989 Ryan’s health began to deteriorate. Michael Jackson invited Ryan again to visit him at his ranch. Ryan went right after Christmas and stayed till New Year’s Day.

>>When we hugged goodbye, Michael said: „Never give up. Do it for me.“<<
>>Michael had a video crew come in, and we made a tape together about our friendship - kind of the flip side of the video we had made for him.<<

At the end of March 1990 Ryan was taken to the hospital with a serious respiratory tract infection. As his condition deteriorated, he was sedated and placed on a ventilator. He would not wake up again and died on 8th April.
>>‘No, Mom,‘ I said firmly. ‚I want to look like me. I want to wear my Guess? jeans, a surf shirt, boxer shorts“- I wanted to be comfortable -„my Air Jordans, and my Oaklays. And the watch Michael gave me.“<<
Ryan’s funeral was attended by more than 1500 people, amongst them was also Elton John who had been a close long-time friend to Ryan and the family and who paid a tribute on the funeral. Michael dedicated the song Gone Too Soon from his next album Dangerous to Ryan.
„Ryan White. The hardest for me is. . . I don’t understand when a child dies. I really don’t. I think there should be a window where there is a chance of dying but not in this window of time. When a child dies, or if the child is sick, I really don’t understand it.“
[M. Jackson]
„Gonna make a difference, gonna make it right. Friends forever. Michael Jackson“

[Michael’s inscription on Ryan‘s gravestone]
Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight
Here one day
Gone one night

Like a sunset
Dying with the rising of the moon
Gone too soon.

Thanks to all who made it till the end. Turned out to be a longer thread than I had planned it. And I still feel I could have shared more about Ryan. His story had always touched me but I probably would never have known about it if it wasn’t for Michael.
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