How John C. McGinley’s Love for His Son Made Him Step Away From Acting and Devote His Life to Kids With Down Syndrome
There are no limits to a parent’s love, and there’s nothing a mom or dad won’t do in order to ensure their child is living their best life. And when Hollywood actor John C. McGinley’s first kid was born with Down syndrome, the loving dad decided to transform his career and life path just for his little boy. After all, parenthood is the most selfless journey we can go on, and this actor’s story proves that family will always come first.
Actor John C. McGinley had become a familiar face to us for many years with roles in award-winning hits like Platoon and Se7en. And it was watching him regularly for 9 years as Dr. Perry Cox, one of the main characters in the popular sitcom, Scrubs, that made us feel even closer to him. But despite having a successful acting career, it was back at home that John found his biggest and most rewarding role.
The actor became a dad for the first time at the age of 38 to a baby boy named Max. And it was only on August 31, 1997, the very day Max was born, that he and his now ex-wife found out that their son had Down syndrome.
In fact, John explained that the couple didn’t have amniocentesis, as both were in good shape and had no history of challenges in their families, plus they were told that the fetus was very healthy. And this is what made the news about their son’s condition very unexpected.
The now 63-year-old actor admitted that back then he didn’t have a clue about Down syndrome, and his journey as a new dad was very complicated at the beginning. He opened up about feeling ’’crazy blame’’ because he wondered what he could’ve done wrong that caused his son to be born with an extra chromosome.
However, the doting father wasn’t about to give up on his baby boy. On the contrary, he was fully determined to find out every little thing about Down syndrome so that Max grew up in the best conditions possible. So he took a year off from acting, started to attend seminars, and read everything he could find on the subject.
And fast forward to today — John is still not choosing to work as an actor because he is busy taking care of Max and his 2 younger daughters as well as serving on the board of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
As a matter of fact, his involvement with Down syndrome didn’t just stop at Max’s well-being. For years now, the doting dad has been an international spokesperson for Down syndrome and works to raise awareness about it and promoting better opportunities for people with disabilities.
The actor explained that he didn’t want his involvement to be on the surface, and instead he aimed for a ’’more proactive’’ approach. This includes being a part of ’’the single biggest fundraiser for people with down syndrome,’’ which involves the support of other celebrities. John also devotes a lot of his personal time and energy to other kids born with Down syndrome.
Today, Max is 25 years old and seems to be living his best life. The proud father revealed, ’’Max is healthy and fantastic. He’s got a job at Starbucks, he plays in a band, and has a concert in a couple of weeks.’’ He added, ’’He’s in great shape right now."
After all, this is what John wanted for his son from the day he was born, and it seems that thanks to his utter devotion and limitless fatherly love, he made his life goal a reality.
What do you think of John C. McGinley’s journey through fatherhood? Do you agree that nothing can be more constructive for a child than a parent’s unconditional love?