By: Elise Phillips Margulis
John McNulty of Chester, 31, has devoted his life to helping others as a Chester volunteer firefighter, a Navy veteran, a coach, a mentor and a dad. Now, McNulty needs the community’s help as he fights for his life.
In October he thought he had the flu but was diagnosed with M-St. 4, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). He’s spent more time in the hospital than at home since then. McNulty had to withdraw from college where he was studying for a bachelor’s degree in cyber security. He isn’t able to work because of his condition. He also hasn’t been able to see his daughter Shannon much because of strict hospital visitation rules.
McNulty underwent three weeks of chemotherapy at Morristown Medical Center and his leukemia went into early remission. He was told he needed a bone arrow transplant. Several friends and relatives had their marrow tested and McNulty’s brother was a 100% bone marrow match The bone marrow transplant was scheduled for February 15th. but was then postponed when a second cancer, Leukemia Cutis (an infiltration of neoplastic leukocytes into the skin, resulting in a manifestation of cutaneous lesions, with no known cure), was found in his body.
McNulty then underwent a second chemo regime at Hackensack Medical Center (HMC) in an attempt to kill the Leukemia Cutis. Sadly, it was unsuccessful. The consensus among several Oncology specialists on the East Coast was that he should go ahead and have the bone marrow transplant to replace unhealthy blood-forming cells (stem cells) with healthy ones to fight the AML. The transplant was done at the end of March after five days of intensive full-body radiation and two days of chemotherapy. His body accepted the transplant and McNulty continues to fight the Leukemia Cutis with alternative cancer therapies because there’s no cure.
McNulty’s best friend, Sean Kumpf, set up a GoFundMe page to help McNulty with medical and living expenses. Kumpf describes McNulty as more of a brother than a friend. They met in middle school and played football together. They have also served as volunteer firefighters together for 16 years. Kumpf, Shannon’s godfather, said “John is the kind of guy who would do anything for you. He’s literally devoted his entire life to his community and his country. He looks for the good in everyone. We want to help him pay his medical bills so he can focus on getting well. We also want to help him with everyday expenses like car insurance, Shannon’s summer camp, et cetera.” To donate, people are asked to visit www.gofundme.com/john-mcnulty-fund
Ruth McAndrew, McNulty’s mother-in-law also started a GoFundMe page to reach her friends and relatives at www.gofundme.com/f/john-mcnulty-fight-against-leukemia to help the McNulty family pay the medical bills.
McAndrew said, “If you are able to donate to his cause financially, please know that any amount will be greatly appreciated from the heart. Please continue to help John and his family through your prayers and words of healing, strength, and encouragement.”