Local veteran diagnosed with leukemia urges routine medical check-ups

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PEORIA, Ill — “Back in ’92, right after Desert Storm, I got leukemia. I was in remission, considered cured for, for almost 26.5 years,” said Desert Storm Veteran Harold McCampbell Jr.

But that all changed about four months ago.

“Found out I have a chronic form of the cancer I had before, which is a different type of leukemia,” said McCampbell.

Harold McCampbell Jr. fought for our country and now he fights for his life, again. This time, with aid from the VA and medical treatments.

“So far it’s helping me a lot. Getting some strength back and blood counts are starting to rise,” McCampbell said.

He says he hopes to educate men and women of color on the importance of medical check-ups.

“Just a cheek swab. Might need some stem cells or bone marrow for somebody that’s related to you that you don’t know of or that’s compatible with you so it’s very important,” said McCampbell.

McCampbell knows about sacrifice. But he says seeing the headstones at Arlington Cemetery really put things into perspective.

“It really hit me there. And I have a great grandfather who is buried in Manila cemetery so this is even bigger than that,” McCampbell said.

McCampbell hopes that Central Illinois doesn’t forget that these veterans fought for the freedoms we take for granted today.

“When you come home and you see this in our capitol, how amazing, how everybody is memorializing [what] our soldiers did and stuff, so it really hits home,” said McCampbell.

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