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General Hospital

John J. York Explains His Blood Stem Cell Transplant Treatment


On Nov. 7, Jon Lindstrom (Kevin) asked for “healing thoughts” for his GENERAL HOSPITAL co-star and friend John J. York (Mac) as he began the blood stem cell transplant process to treat his blood and bone marrow disorders. 

The actor opened up about his health battle back in September as he explained that his “brief hiatus” from the soap was due to his being diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome and multiple smoldering myeloma. And now he’s going into more detail about his treatment and what it entails.

“The first week is an eight-day process of heavy-duty chemo where I’ll probably lose my hair, and that’s okay,” York told People. “And, you know, there’s just all kinds of issues. I could,  I could pass away. I mean, maybe not from the chemo, but when the transplant starts. So after the eight days of these different chemo treatments that they’re doing, they’re basically wiping my body of what I’ve been living with in terms of my blood and DNA and all this stuff for my entire life. They’re wiping that clean and then they’re gonna put new stuff in me from the donor. And that’s going to be the new me.”

GH Cody Mac
The Cody/Mac storyline had to be put on hold while York took medical leave.Christine Bartolucci/ABC

After receiving the stem cell transplant, York then must go to the hospital every single day for 100 days in order to undergo repeated testing to see how his body is accepting the new cells. “If tests come back after, let’s say after 30 days or 35, 40 days, tests are looking really good, that would be wonderful,” he explained. “Then they may say, ‘You don’t have to come in tomorrow, come in the next day. And then we’ll test after that.’ That goes on for 100 days, and I would say the first, probably 20 days [after the transplant] are the crucial days. From the first day of the transplant, I’m guessing 14 to 20 days out, they’ll be able to tell with testing daily how I’m receiving and accepting the stem cells.”

Following those 100 days of testing will come another year or two of medication and continued testing. But the GH vet is maintaining a positive outlook on what his future holds. “Well, you know, what can I do?” he mused. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I said it before: one day at a time.”

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