Health allows McMullen to return to Grosse Pointe Woods City Council

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 21, 2020

 George McMullen

George McMullen

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — On March 1, Grosse Pointe Woods City Council member George McMullen stepped down from his position after being diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer Feb. 28.

McMullen, first elected to the council in November 2017, has been responding positively to treatment and felt well enough to return to council.

On June 15, the Grosse Pointe Woods City Council voted 6-0 via Zoom videoconferencing to appoint McMullen to the council. He took the oath of office June 23 with City Clerk Lisa Kay Hathaway presiding.

At the July 13 City Council meeting — his first meeting back since March — McMullen, during the meeting’s new business and public comment section, explained his return. At the time of his diagnosis, McMullen lost weight and his prognosis was six to 18 months of life expectancy.

“The recommendation from my primary physician was to focus fully on my battle and it would be best to resign from council and any other community obligations,” McMullen said. “At the time, with the information I had, I felt I had no other course of action. In short, I was scared to death and felt my work on council would be compromised.

“Fast forward to today. After four months of treatment, my weight has returned to my normal 170, plus I have had little or no side effects from chemotherapy,” he said. “My numbers continue to improve, and (I) have never lost my appetite, energy and positive outlook. I don’t want to use the term miracle and am not out of the woods yet, but I never would have anticipated this result, nor my doctors for that matter.”

McMullen said he has received many blessings, cards, emails, phone calls, prayers and positive thoughts from friends and residents during his recovery.

“Also critical to my progress is the superior treatment I have been receiving from my medical professionals and how blessed I am to live in this community,” said McMullen, who has been receiving treatment at the Van Elslander Cancer Center at Ascension St. John Hospital in Grosse Pointe Woods.

“I feel great and would not have inquired about coming back on council without my medical professional’s permission and if I didn’t feel I could perform my duties to the high expectations demanded and deserved by this council and the residents of Grosse Pointe Woods,” the councilman said.

“I see many people are clapping,” Mayor Robert Novitke said. “We are happy to have you back. That reappointment was unanimous.”

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