John Calnan is a well known, well liked, hard working Lynn family man.
He owns his own construction company and during the past five years, like many of us affected by the recession, he’s had to struggle to care for family and to manage his finances.
At the end of September, Calnan started feeling ill and tired, more ill than tired.
He was experiencing stomach problems. The problems grew worse.
He ended up going to Salem Hospital.
He was examined.
The following day he went back to talk with the doctors.
The message came through loud and clear from them” You have colon cancer.”
“The news that he had cancer was shocking to me and to everyone who knows John,” said his wife of 20 years, Kerry.
“He had always been so healthy and physically fit. A hardworking healthy man his whole life. It was impossible for me to come to terms with this new twist,” she said.
Calnan himself was shocked but as people who know him agreed, he is now fighting the difficulty with everything he has. This is what would be expected of a guy like Calnan, who is an honest man with a lot to live for.
In fact, he has a lot to fight for.
The Calnan’s have four children – a son Patrick has just graduated from St. Mary’s High School; a daughter Shannon is a junior at Lynn English and is caption of the LEHS Girls Varsity Basketball Team; a daughter Rachel is a 7th grader at Pickering Middle School and also plays softball and basketball; and a son Jack, who is a 5th grader at Sisson Elementary.
“The kids were emotional, obviously. We told them their father is not dying. That this whole experience is about healing. We’re a very faithful family, a very Catholic family,” Kerry told the Journal.
“The power of prayer is what is getting us through this difficult time,” added Kerry.
Calnan began a vigorous regimen of chemo therapy and radiation treatment to shrink a tumor doctors found and then an operation to remove it will follow.
In the meantime, the friends of John Calnan have banded together to have a special time for him in the hope enough money can be raised to meet the demands of his costly medical bills.
The time will be held at St. Michaels Church in Lynn and it is being dubbed the Calnan Family Fundraiser. It will be held November 4 at 7:30 p.m. and will feature, among others, the live band “Out on the Tiles” with a special guest musician, Kevin Kennedy.
“I cannot thank the city enough and its people. Our friends are here for us. We love this city. You can say what you want about this city but when it comes to times like this, we thank God we live in Lynn and have the friends we do,” said Kerry.
“Thank God for our family and friends,” she added.