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Def Leppard / Dio Guitarist Vivian Campbell Fighting Cancer

Vivian Campbell
Mary Ouellette,

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has revealed that he was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has already gone through two of six months of chemotherapy to battle the cancer.

Campbell is also known as an original member of Dio, teaming up with Ronnie James Dio and company to create such albums as ‘Holy Diver,’ ‘The Last in Line’ and more.

As Def Leppard gear up for upcoming tour dates in Europe and North America, the 50-year-old guitarist didn’t want fans to be alarmed when they saw his new look without hair courtesy of the chemo, so he released the statement below, sharing the deeply personal details of his health scare, how he discovered it, and his prognosis:

“I feel fortunate that my cancer sent me an alarm call in the form of ‘the cough that wouldn’t quit’. Otherwise, how would I have known? After several months of trying every inhaler known to man, my doctor finally had me X-rayed. A further CAT scan revealed that enlarged lymph nodes were doing wrestling manoeuvres on my windpipe – hence the cough. What was causing the enlarged lymph nodes, however, was yet to be determined, so I underwent a surgical biopsy on March 11th, the first day of Leppard rehearsals for our Viva Las Vegas shows. Obviously, I didn’t make it to rehearsal that day, but it’s okay; I know the songs by now…

My diagnosis was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and 6 months of chemotherapy is the prescribed treatment. I’m about 2 months in and feeling rather spiffy, all things considered. Hodgkin’s has an over 80% cure rate, so by my reckoning, if you’re going to have a cancer, Hodgie’s is the one to have!

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because, despite cancer and chemo, me and my new aerodynamic hairstyle (read: no hair) are going on tour this summer with the band and I don’t want anyone to be so shocked by my new look that they ask for a refund. Simple economics, really.

My family, friends and bandmates have all been extremely supportive through this and I look forward to a summer full of shows with both Def Leppard in June/July and the debut of Last In Line this August.”

While the dramatic statement may come as shocking to fans who had no clue, the good news is that Campbell’s cancer type has a high cure rate and that he seems to be on the mend.

The upcoming Def Leppard tour dates kick off with an appearance at Hellfest in France on June 23 and extend through a stop in Canandaigua, N.Y. on July 17. The debut of Last in Line that Campbell mentions is a reunion tour of the surviving original Dio members.

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