General Hospital star John J York takes hiatus from show for blood General Hospital actor John J. York, renowned for his portrayal of Mac Scorpio since 1991 in the popular ABC daytime soap opera, has announced a temporary break from the show due to an ongoing health concern. In a video shared on the X social media platform (formerly Twitter) on September 13, he disclosed that he has received a diagnosis of two blood and bone marrow disorders, specifically myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and multiple smoldering myeloma, which he was informed of in December 2022.
Myelodysplastic syndrome is an infrequent category of cancers that hinder the normal maturation of blood stem cells into healthy blood cells, as reported by the Cleveland Clinic. It affects approximately 4 out of every 100,000 individuals in the United States each year. Multiple smoldering myeloma, on the other hand, is a condition involving both the blood and bone marrow that has the potential to progress into the less common blood cancer known as active multiple myeloma. This transformation occurs when specialized white blood cells within the immune system undergo mutations and become abnormal cells, as explained by the Cleveland Clinic.
In a recent People magazine interview published on Wednesday, York shared the emotional moment when he broke the news of his diagnosis to his wife, Vicki.
He recounted, “She was deeply shaken by the conversation. The doctor was delving into intricate medical details, using complex terminology and lengthy words. Frankly, it was all quite overwhelming, and I was struggling to comprehend it all. It was Vicki who finally gathered the courage to ask, ‘Does John have cancer?’ To which the doctor replied, ‘Yes.’ I found myself in the background, silently absorbing the conversation as Vicki was the one posing the questions.”
York also disclosed that he has been managing ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease since the age of 17. He noted that this latest diagnosis is just another health challenge he must now address.
“In recent months, I’ve undergone three bone marrow biopsies and numerous chemotherapy treatments. Another round of chemo is scheduled in a couple of weeks, and I’m getting closer to a blood stem cell transplant,” York shared in a video last week. He also mentioned his collaboration with the dedicated individuals at Be the Match, a national registry for volunteers willing to donate bone marrow, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. This partnership is aimed at locating a potential donor from their registry.”
York urged individuals to contemplate contributing, whether to him or to the “countless others who require a helping hand.”
Expressing his gratitude for the unwavering support he had received throughout the years, York emphasized that this was not a farewell, but merely a temporary departure.
“I’ll need to step away from ‘General Hospital’ for a minimum of three, perhaps four months, but rest assured, I’ll return,” York quipped, playfully alluding to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic line from “Terminator.”
York informed People that he has been commuting between Tennessee and Los Angeles for soap opera filming. However, he emphasized that he must adhere to his doctor’s advice and maintain a state of “semi-isolation” at home once the transplant procedure commences.
Soap opera actor Billy Miller, known for his role in ‘General Hospital,’ and ‘Young and the Restless,’ passes away at the age of 43.