Skip to main content

Featured ALS Story - John Gullage



John Gullage has been a friend of Harpoon 5-Miler for years. Now, his daughter MaryJo Gullage shares the story of her father's ALS diagnosis...


For any of you who don’t know, my father was diagnosed with ALS on July 5, 2018, about 9 months after he retired from the Mass State Police. This disease will not overshadow the person my father was. Yes, we quickly watched him have weakness in his arms, legs, lungs, and more...but it did not take his sense of humor, his charm, or his strength. This man was a well oiled machine. He would get upset about the guys at the station who didn’t take advantage of their one hour a day to workout. He didn’t get it. The Marine Corps I’m sure instilled most of these habits in him. His hair was always cut just right, his shirts tucked in and belt perfect. Never had anything out of place. 


After the diagnosis we knew that this was most likely a battle that we were not going to win, but there was no giving up without a fight. He’s like Superman or terminator. This man has pulled through so much most of us would not be able to handle. A lot of people growing up would say “you’re dad is scary,” "you’re dad is badass,” or "he’s so intimidating." I’m like, "he’s the sweetest guy ever, not scary at all." But, he never let his guard down, that’s just how he was. Very protective, hard working, and would do anything for his family, his coworkers and his friends. He had “a guy” for everything. But he was also “that guy” for a lot of people. He was well respected and did not have an easy life. But you would NEVER hear this man complain. And this is what helped us through my mother’s death and this disease. His strength and positivity never changed and we will be forever grateful for everything he has taught us in this life. We did everything we could making sure he was getting the best care. Extremely grateful for the VA and Compassionate Care ALS for all of their support, and The Angel Fund for continuing to raise awareness with the Harpoon 5-Miler. 


My father passed away on February 18, 2020.  We hope his story will help raise awareness for ALS and we will continue to help in finding a cure.

-MaryJo Gullage



Photo of John Gullage and daughter MaryJo Gullage

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies. We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Read how we use cookies and how you can control them by visiting our Privacy Policy.

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies.