KUSA - While John C. McGinley is best known for roles on TV's Scrubs, and the films Wall Street and Platoon, he also works to raise awareness about Down syndrome.
McGinley was in town for an appearance atthe Denver-based Global Down Syndrome Foundation and was our guest on 9NEWS 8 a.m. McGinley became an advocate for those with disabilities afterhis son, Max, was diagnosed with Down syndrome in 2000.
He is a strong supporter of the "Spread The Word To End The Word" and has written a compelling article for the National Down Syndrome Society against the use of the "R" word which is excerpted below.
I am a father. My son's name is Max and my daughter's name is Billie Grace. Max was born with Down Syndrome. His journey has been complicated by infantile seizures, sleep apnea, dietary challenges and now, puberty! Max has also (somehow), managed to become a medium through whom other people are introduced to their own personal stories of compassion and love and heretofore undiscovered capacity to revel in joy. It is not entirely clear to me just how Max is able to perform this service. I can, however, attest to the fact that my son has made a gift of love and presented it to countless people. I have witnessed this phenomenon and I have been one of those people.
Itnever occurred to me that my son would some day be caught dead in the cross-hairs of painful hate-speech and insensitive language, leveled directly at a special needs population that Max was born into. With the distinct physical markers that identify a person born with Down Syndrome, my son (through no fault of his own), has inherited the unwelcome stigma that sadly accompanies the R-word.