Def Leppard star in cancer battle again

Def Leppard guitarist from Lisburn Vivian Campbell, got great news recently in his battle against cancer.

Vivian, 53, a former Rathmore Grammar student who was once told by one of his teachers that playing the guitar would never make him money, played at the Odyssey last week, to hundreds of his loyal fans.

Vivian, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2013, and has to fly back to Los Angeles every three weeks for the course of treatment known as immunotherapy.

Recently, doctors say they are hopeful that his treatment is now working.

Writing on his Facebook page Vivian said, “I had great news this morning - the mighty Pembrolizumab appears to be holding the tumours at bay. Docs said they might even be slightly smaller than they were at the last scans. Needless to say I am most chuffed at the result.”

As part of his treatment he has had rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

Although in November 2013, Vivian announced that he was in remission, he announced in June 2014 that, ‘The remission was a little bit premature. It came right back.’ He was in remission for a second time but this June 2015 Vivian announced the cancer had returned.

Before joining Def Leppard in 1992 he played with Dio and Whitesnake. Vivian joined Def Leppard, after the release of their Adrenalize album. He replaced Steve Clark, who died.

According to fellow guitarist Phil Collen, Vivian was able to lock right into the position very naturally by simply being himself. Vivian made his debut with the band by playing a show in a Dublin club to approximately 600 people. A week later, the band took the stage at the Freddie Mercury Concert for Life and performed, ‘Animal,’ ‘Let’s Get Rocked,’ and the Queen classic, ‘Now I’m Here’, with Brian May.

Despite his health scares, Vivian has had no problems rocking out on stage, the punishing schedule of life on the road has proved much harder to handle.

He told BBC Newsline recently: “The hour or hour-and-a-half we’re on stage is bliss, that’s joy. You know, it’s all the bits in between that’s difficult - the travel, the jetlag. Going from Perth to Singapore to London via Los Angeles all within a week, it’s hard to know what time of day it is or indeed what day it is.”

Speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune in September recently, he said that after going through his early treatment, he “naively thought that’d be it, and I was done with it. I guess given the benefit now of my experiences with this, I kinda realise that I’ll probably be dealing with it for the rest of my life.”