In Times of Need, Northeast Pennsylvania comes to the aid of its own. In our regular column, Patrice Wilding provides a platform for area residents facing a variety of obstacles to create awareness and connect them with much-needed help.

Who: John Mulkerin has faced many hardships in his life, and yet each struggle has made the 58-year-old Scranton resident kinder instead of colder. The disabled military veteran previously worked as a manager at a telemarketing firm and shows great dedication to his family, including his children, Chris Mulkerin, 30; John Mulkerin, 31; and Heather Snyder, 24, plus his eight grandchildren. Mulkerin lost his wife of 30 years, Brenda, to suicide in 2016. In February, he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, which has required him to undergo both chemotherapy and radiation to prevent the spread of the disease and to shrink the masses in his chest and back. The treatments take a heavy toll on Mulkerin, who worries about burdening his loved ones. And while his cancer is incurable, he has been responding well to treatment, which gives him more time to spend with his family.

What/when/where: Donations can be made at or sent to 326 Emmett St., Scranton, PA 18505, payable to John Mulkerin.

Why: Proceeds will be used to cover medical treatments, visits with doctors and eventual funeral expenses.

In his own words: “Community support means knowing I’m not fighting alone. It means knowing people care as much about my family as I do, and that is priceless. It means I can continue to be there for my kids and grandkids as much as possible, and I want to say thank you for that gift.” — John Mulkerin



Donations continue to be accepted for 11-year-old Taevon Howard of Dunmore, who has an incurable, chronic tumor disease that requires chemotherapy, online at or by mail at P.O. Box 315, Dunmore, PA 18512, payable to his mom, Cindy Collins.