HAZARD- One of the City of Hazard’s finest is in surprisingly good spirits after receiving what most would deem a devastating diagnosis.
Lt. Paul Campbell, of the Hazard City Police Department, is known for his general good spirits and jovial attitude among his co-workers and the community. Just last month, Campbell was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, but this has not changed his attitude—if anything he is in even better spirits.
Campbell said he had been experiencing symptoms for several months before he saw a physician.
“The symptoms, I’ve been having for about 3 months and you know, your body is telling you that something is going on and it’s time to listen and so that’s what I did and of course you know I found out I have colon cancer,” Campbell said. “There’s two spots on my liver as well.”
Campbell said that the type of cancer he has is treatable.
“The odds are 80-90 percent survivability. There’s definitely a lot of people out there that are way worse off than I could ever be. Another day that you get is a win anyway,” Campbell stated.
As a young man of only 31, Campbell said he would have never expected this diagnosis, but is determined to conquer the disease.
“Anytime somebody tells you something that or reminds you of mortality it sucks, and things get into prospective pretty quick,” Campbell said. “Your options are limited, you can either lay down and quit, or you can kick it in the face, we’re going to kick it in the face.”
Deputy Chief Joe Engle is helping to organize several events to help support Campbell and his family financially as he goes through treatment.
On July 3, a nighttime 5K will be held in downtown Hazard. The first annual Hazard Police Foot Pursuit will start at 9 p.m. at the City Hall shelter. Participants can pre-register for the event for $20 and be guaranteed a t-shirt, or participants can register the same day as the race for $25 but are not guaranteed a shirt. Deadline for pre-registration is June 20, Engle said.
On July 4, a car show is being held downtown which will begin at 4 p.m. in front of City Hall. There will be live music, activities for children, and a burn out contest. The event will last until dark and end with a city fireworks show, Engle said.
Engle went on to say that he knew that Campbell would pull through this challenge.
“He’s going to beat this, we’ve got full faith. This won’t be a dark moment for Paul, this will end up being a shining moment,” Engle said.
Hazard City Police Chief Minor Allen said Campbell was one of his most dedicated officers and he hoped that the community would reach out to him.
“Paul has been with the city going on almost 8 years now and he’s given a lot to our community and is one of the most dedicated officers I have down here and I would like for the community to reach back and help him out during this time period,” Allen said.
Allen said anyone wanting to donate to Lt. Campbell can take donations to the HPD station on High Street in Hazard and either make it out to the Hazard Police Dept. Family Support group or to Paul Campbell directly.
Campbell said he was very grateful for the support he has already received.
“I’m extremely grateful for everyone’s support and prayers, I don’t even have words to describe it. A big thank you to everyone,” Campbell said.
The community has maintained its hope and faith for Campbell, and so has he, Campbell said.
“A lot of people look at having cancer as being the end of the world but the truth is, it’s a blessing. Because during this I’ve got to see love pour out from people that I never knew cared about me at all. And to see that is unbelievable,” Campbell said.
Campbell went on to say that his faith was stronger than ever in the face of this challenge.
“It really shows you that regardless of how negative things can get there’s always a positive and I really think that it’s God’s will that I go through this so my faith gets tried and I get to see the end result which is a lot of people united for one cause, and it’s unbelievable,” Campbell said.
Gwendolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter@HazardHerald.