The life and death of one very bad penny

Friends about Chris

"I am a computer scientist/amateur photographer. I met Chris in Berlin this year. I was amazed by the way he talked about himself: He was open, and real. He talked about things in his life that could make you scared or send you running, but this was not what made an impression on me. It was the person he had become after facing a lifetime of taking on incredible challenges and risks, having both huge success and failures. It was the way he reflected on it all and how he had mastered the art of thinking before doing. I was struck about his insight into life, art, science, culture. He had always pushed his own limits and worked on himself to become the person who I was talking to when I got to know him in Berlin. I had the luck of him extremely influencing my life, even though we knew each other for a fairly short time. He woke me up, and taught me to live my life with all my senses open. He dared me and pushed me beyond what I thought I could handle. He inspired me to see life in a new light and not be scared of the challenges ahead. I learned to be grateful for both happiness and hardships, for both bear invaluable lessons. I learned once more the joy of truly helping others, lifting them up when they need it, and even though I am still struggling and fail, I know he gave me the tools to become the person I want to be. I will always be grateful to him for doing this. 

His illness has been a shock to me and everyone around him. I still can't believe that he soon won't be around and not just in my life, but also in the lives of many others who he'd helped and inspired. This website is a way to honor his life and document what CTE does to people in an effort to raise awareness, attention and hopefully more research not just in preventing it but also some day in being able to treat it, so no more lives are lost to it."

Tsveti, Berlin, 2017


"Chris came into my life the same way numerous others have: He stayed in the spare bedroom in my WG flat in Berlin for two weeks while he searched for more permanent accommodation.  However, unlike the rest of the countless stream of guests, he drew the presence of me and my housemate to socialize and get to know one another. During my time in that flat, Chris's stay was the only one of numerous airBnB's were I felt inclined to really talk and get to know him. His openness coupled with firmness in conviction makes him a person I feel drawn to. As the weeks passed, it became clear that he also does whatever is necessary to protect and help those that stay near him. Through Chris, I found a confidant, a protector, a mentor, and endless entertainment. He helped me develop confidence to pursue needs in my life that were previously ill-defined, and this resulted in me rising to a potential I didn't know I had. He played a big role in helping me build my foundation of life in a city new to both of us, which is something truly precious to me because Berlin has since become a permanent home.  Though I may fumble with the words I use to attempt to describe what he is to me, I know for certain that the entirety of our relationship is the result of far more than the sum of its parts. If you have been fortunate enough to come close to this man, then you likely understand the soulful effect his presence can have on one's life. I will leave things here, as I don't believe he wants to be put on a pedestal as he too is human with his own flaws and quirks. I simply wish to impress upon the impact he made on myself. 

News of his illness was shocking, to say the least. I think I might still be in denial at its severity as I am a stranger to death and don't want to imagine life without this person who I have grown to appreciate and care about. I hope my sharing, and the stories of others here, can begin to give an idea of the kind of man he is, as he deserves every bit of recognition he finds."

Julie, Berlin 2017