General Hospital's John J. York details his cancer journey before returning as Mac

Posted Monday, June 17, 2024 12:15:08 PM
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John J. York is back on our General Hospital screens as Mac Scorpio this week after a brave battle with cancer.

John J. York shocked fans in the fall of 2023 when he took to social media to tell fans he'd be taking a General Hospital break to undergo treatment for two blood cancers, myelodysplastic syndrome and smoldering multiple myeloma. At the time, he was still searching for a bone marrow donor. Within weeks, he found one, and his road to treatment and recovery began.

York, who has played Mac Scorpio on GH since 1991, explained to Good Morning America that another condition led to his surprising cancer diagnosis. The actor has been suffering from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis since his teens, and a routine check for those conditions led to doctors finding cancer.

York was shocked when he got the news because he didn't feel sick at all.

"I said, you know, 'How long would I have if I did nothing?'" York said, regarding a conversation with his doctor. "And he said, 'Three to five years.' And I was like, 'Three to five years? Are you crazy? I feel fantastic.'"

The actor opted for the more aggressive treatment that included chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant. York explained that he underwent chemo in Tennessee but would return to California in between treatments so he could bring Mac to life in Port Charles.

A few months later, York chose to go public with his diagnosis and took to social media in September to update fans on his health. He was amazed at how many people joined the bone marrow registry just to help. Within weeks, York got the call that a match was found.

"She said we found an exact match," York said "And I just couldn't talk. It's just a little bag of, you know, blood and fluid, and they put it in my body 40 minutes later, and now, I'm this person and my cells are now fighting each other and battling each other and getting to know each other. And here we are back to work."

When York returned to the GH set in May, cast members lent their support by wearing "Mac is Back" T-shirts. York admitted he felt like no time had passed since he'd last been on set.

"I just felt so attached that I didn't feel like I missed anything. I feel like I just had a little break, a little vacation, I guess, and had to go through something," he said. "And now we're here on kind of the other side of it."

Expect to see York's big Mac return on Wednesday, June 19.

Are you excited for York to jump back into GH story? Is it time Mac finally learns the truth about Cody? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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