Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 for 21 Actor learning lessons from son

'Scrubs' star being honored in Denver after 

learning lessons from son

6:09 PM, Oct 12, 2011  |   comments

DENVER - On the big screen in films like "Platoon," and on the small screen in TV shows like "Scrubs," he's a star. He is the kind of actor that can take over a persona, bringing intensity and passion to a role.
As Dr. Cox on "Scrubs," John C. McGinley made a quirky, abrasive character very endearing.
"'Scrubs' was a great pilot on the page. It was a really eccentric, damaged character. I gave Cox a much bigger heart and I took that from Max. What I borrowed from Max was a sense if compassion," McGinley told 9NEWS.
Max is McGinley's firstborn son. Right after his birth, doctors told his parents he had Down syndrome.
"I didn't have any idea what that meant - other than I knew it was a challenge and then the sky started to fall," he said. "You think it's the end of the world."
There was no time to question why - this was his son and McGinley was so proud and blessed. He was also motivated.
"Max's birth profoundly impacted the way I feel about people with disabilities. Max showing up with the special-needs package he arrived with has compelled me to join different groups. It's gotten me involved," McGinley said.
Not only is he dedicated to changing the lives of people with disabilities, but also the attitudes of others. He wants to permanently eliminate the word "retard."
"It's important that there by some iota of accountability when people starting throwing the 'R' word around. [It's] completely irresponsibly," he said.
For all of his work, McGinley will be honored by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, which is devoted to improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, advocacy and education. The ceremony is set for Saturday night in Denver.
McGinley gives Max the credit for profoundly changing life.
"He's just this big delicious kid. Very stubborn. Got a powerful, incredible will. Doesn't fall far from the tree, I know," he said.
McGinley considers his most important role "being a father."
"The thing that surprises me most about Max is his ability to be present. He is uber in the moment and that blows me away," he said.
McGinley will be honored with the Quincy Jones Advocacy Award. Quincy Jones and Jamie Foxx will be there.
Down syndrome is the least funded genetic condition by the National Institutes of Health.

Click here for more information on the Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Be gentle.

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