Monday, November 06, 2006

John C. McGinley

John C. McGinley: Plays a Doctor but is a Dad and Down Syndrome Advocate

He’s well-known for his role as the persnickety Dr. Perry Cox on NBC’s hit comedy series, Scrubs, but playing a doctor on television wouldn’t have prepared renowned actor John C. McGinley for the devastating news he heard nine years ago on the day his son, Max, was born. Like most expectant parents, John C. and his then wife Lauren were excited about their upcoming bundle of joy. But excitement was quickly replaced by a host of other emotions when their son was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Also known as Trisomy 21, Down syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality that occurs at fertilization and affects 1 in every 800-1,000 births. It’s the result of an extra twenty-first chromosome--either from the egg or the sperm—and it can lead to mental retardation as well as many other medical issues including heart defects, intestinal problems and hearing loss. Children with Down syndrome have eyes that slant upward, a larger-than-normal tongue, and a small nose. They are prone to a wide range of medical problems—some minor, others more serious. In some cases, children with Down syndrome have short life expectancies.

“I was scared,” says John C. “A lot of parents do the blame game and ...

(I interviewed John C. McGinley for, a great website for parents of special children. Click here to read the rest of the interview.)

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