John Mattingly

Local Principal’s Battle with Leukemia sparks community support with Hoxworth blood drive hosted by Independence Elementary School in Lakota School District, Liberty Township

We are grateful for the blood he received! Even more grateful for the Hoxworth donors that made it possible.

Sherry Mattingly, John's wife

John Mattingly with his family

John Mattingly and his family

The summer of 2023 marked a turning point for John Mattingly, principal at Independence Elementary School in Liberty Township, and his family. Upon returning home from summer vacation, John had noticed that his neck was swollen and he was having trouble swallowing food. This led to a trip to the emergency room, where life took an unexpected turn. It was determined that John had a sizeable mass on his chest and he needed to be transferred to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 

“We nervously waited a few days for a biopsy to be scheduled and completed,” said Sherry Mattingly, John’s wife.”

During the biopsy procedure, John suffered complications with his breathing, leaving him reliant on a ventilator in the intensive care unit (ICU).  

Throughout the course of treatment, John has received many platelets and blood transfusions from local Hoxworth blood donors when his red blood cell count is low. “Receiving blood transfusions always make the world of difference for him,” explains Sherry. Low blood cell counts will result in feeling out of breath, lethargic, and sometimes nauseous. “We found out his red blood cell count was really low and he was in need of a blood transfusion. The next day, he was walking around without being out of breath and full of energy,” Sherry continued. 

“We are grateful for the blood he received! Even more grateful for the Hoxworth donors that made it possible.”

John at Independence Elementary School

John recently began his 4th round of five total chemotherapy treatments at UC Health just before the community blood drive held in his honor at Independence Elementary School where he is the principal. 

“We are in the home stretch and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are grateful for all the love of our family, friends, and Lakota community that have helped us along the way and to make it to this point,” Sherry shares. 

Sherry explained that the amount of outpouring, love and support her family received over the summer and continue to receive is a testament to the amount of lives John has touched as a principal and educator in the Lakota Local School district.

School sign that says "we love you John"

In honor of John and his family, officials at Independence Elementary School will be hosting a community blood drive on Friday, March 8 from 11am – 5pm. 

“Blood is powerful and can really transform how someone is feeling. If you’re able to donate, give it a try. A few minutes can heal and save lives. You are doing an amazing thing when you give blood,” says Sherry to those considering blood donation.

Blood donations can be made in John's honor at any Neighborhood Donor Center using group code C290.