Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, met his fiance, Gabriella Hoehn-Saric, while they were both working at The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Watch the story and answer the questions below.
1 When did Gabriella first hear about Colin?
2 What did Colin have?
3 What does Colin say about his aunt?
4 What do both families share?
5 What has Gabriella's role been in her relationship with Colin?
Well, I was an intern at the Brady campaign after I graduated from college.
I’d heard about him because (1) they all talked about he was leaving for the surgery and I was so nervous to meet him because I knew what had happened, and I didn’t know what to expect.
That’s right. And you started when I had to take a week off work because I should take a bullet out of my side.
(2) Oh yeah the cane, you had a cane.
My name is Colin Goddard. I was one of the few survivors from the Virginia Tech shooting two years ago. As a result of my experience, I learnt a great deal about myself, my community and my country, and I learnt a lot about a situation in society that links many of us.
I started working at the Brady campaign because my family had been involved for twenty years. (3) My aunt was killed when I was really young and it was a cause that was passionate to them, so it became a passion of mine when I was in college and I thought, you know, I’m finished college, I’m gonna do Teach for America in a year, what can I do in between, so I started to work there.
It was a strange connection that we had, that (4) our families had both been through such tragedies, and it was something we were both passionate about so I think that definitely was a strong basis for our relationship.
Yeah. I mean, we just, you know, as we started to know each other and to understand we had very similar histories in our family, you know, had dealt with difficult times like that. I think that immediately kind of made us have a connection, you know, that I… we didn’t really have with anybody else there, and that was just as living for 32 was finishing production and editing, starting editing and then back to get rolled out and start to public kind of tour across the country, and so one of Gaby’s, you know, jobs and roles was to help organise a bunch of screenings around the country and it was at the screening events where, you know, Gaby would help set up everything to make sure all the stuff was there, to make sure, you know, the right number of people were there and make sure, you know, all the ducks a row…
And to calm you down before you spoke…
Yeah, yeah, all that, all those little things, right and having so many of those, you know, bad experiences, you know…
Yeah we travelled a lot.
… in a short time frame, you know, I had a lot of time to hang out and get to know one another, and yeah, it was certainly, I think, when we really started to fall for one another, spending so much time with the film.
Yeah. (5) I think a lot of the time my role has been getting his mind off of what he’s doing, I mean, it’s a really heavy topic and he’s about to go talk the worst day of his life to a bunch of strangers and, you know, now he is less nervous, but it was the beginning and he would pace up and down the hallway and I would just be like, you know, you’re doing an amazing thing, they’re really happy to hear you speak, this is really important. What did you do for dinner tonight? Where do you wanna go? What’s your favourite team? Like trying to get his mind off things so he wasn’t completely freaking out of the gravity.
When there are… the horrible events when another man shooting happens on television, you know everyone wants to, you know, comment, and wants to talk about this in the media and, you know, you’re, you’re in the studios all day, you know, talking about something so horrible, I guess, she pulls me, she pulls me back to earth…
Yeah! He goes on the news and then he has to come help me clean up.
…tears through all this sadness. We are the Hokies. We will prevail, we will…
I met the man I’m going to marry. It happened out of so many terrible things. If those things had never happened, we might not have met. I think that, you know, sometimes weighs heavily on me but then I think it makes us really appreciate what we do have and how we did find each other, what a great relationship we have out of all it, in spite of everything.