Ryan White, a teenager who was barred from attending his local high school because he had AIDS, became nationally recognized after the media broke the story about how he was attending school only by phone. John befriended White and his family and was at White's bedside when he was dying. At one point, John had to leave to go perform in a concert titled Farm Aid IV, which raised money and awareness for families surviving through farming in America. John chose to play "Candle in the Wind" as his third song, saying beforehand, "This one's for Ryan." "They burst into applause," he wrote of the audience. "The news of Ryan's hospitalization was a national story, and everyone knew he didn't have long to live... I looked out into the crowd, and people were holding up their lighters, thousands of little vigils flickering in the darkness for my dying friend."