Monday, 28th March 2022
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4 Years Ago DEF LEPPARD's VIVIAN CAMPBELL Is Northern Ireland Hospice Ambassador

Def Leppard 2018. Screenshot

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell was honoured on this day in 2018 at the Northern Ireland Hospice in Belfast.

He was given the honour of Ambassador Of The Northern Ireland Hospice in his home city of Belfast.

Joe had announced the award during the Teenage Cancer Trust show in London on 25th March 2018.

Vivian spoke to the hospice about the honour.

Read his comments below and view both videos.

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This follows on from the OH YEAH Legend Award he received in November 2017 when he also paid a visit to the hospice.

NI Hospice Ambassador - Vivian Campbell Interview Quotes

How did you become an Ambassador for Northern Ireland Hospice?

"I didn't have a choice. I was ambushed!. It was great actually. I am so flattered to have the opportunity to give back. Especially to the people of my home country and especially something to do with something that's very close to my heart. And it's something that I have personal experience with and that is cancer. So when I first heard about it actually, I was very thrilled about it. I mean this is, this means a lot to me. It's very fulfilling. It's very rewarding for me to be able to be able to have the opportunity to do this. You know I am 55 years of age. I've had a very, very fortunate life and I think it's about time I started giving something back you know. It's great I'm just thrilled all round to be involved with the hospice."

What impressed you about Northern Ireland Hospice?

"I was very impressed by the Hospice when I visited by the energy and the dedication of the people, the staff. It was a very friendly, very warm atmosphere. It's a great facility, really, really nice. And everyone's pulling for other people and giving. It's a very loving and warm environment. And I've been in a lot of hospitals in the US. It's not always like that. You know and so it's a very homely place and I really get the sense that people who are working there are there for the right reasons. Doing what they can to bring comfort to people when they need it the most."

What were your thoughts after visiting Northern Ireland Hospice?

"I really enjoyed my visit to the hospice, it really. Like all of those situations in life for me, it really brings perspective. You know my entire adult life I've been a musician and toured the world and played in front of people and as such we don't have to accept a lot of responsibility. It's really grounding to do something like to visit the hospice and to immerse yourself in reality. That's something I always try and do. I mean even before my involvement with the hospice, I always try and be cognitive of what's going on in the world. I think so many people are just, it's easier to bury your hand in the sand you know. It's nice to see people who are loving and dedicated and willing to help others. And like I said before I am so thrilled to be part of that and to be invited to be able to contribute to that. I'm very looking forward to it."

You've had your own battle with illness

"Yeah I got diagnosed in 2013 with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. So I feel lucky about that because I mean no cancer was good, but they tell me if you're gonna get it get Hodgkin's you know. So it's quite survivable and obviously I'm still here you know. It just, I don't know, I'm sure it's been said many times before when your doctor tells you you have cancer your entire world just falls apart you know. Just falls in and it really forces you to rethink the priorities of life and I would like to think that I've always been the sort of person whose glass was half full as opposed to half empty. But after that point it was full to the brim and it still is to this day. You know so life is very ephemeral, it's very transient and I think we all take far too much for granted and sometimes we need these things to be reminded."

"I got the grown up haircut finally. When I did chemo all my hair fell out. 'cause I wasn't happy being in my 50s and having long hair and I would look at pictures of myself and think that doesn't look right, but there's being a musician in a rock band and being a career musician it becomes like a crutch and I was so fearful to let go of it. Then I had chemo and I had no choice, it fell out. And I didn't even have eyebrows and I was on stage performing with Def Leppard in 2014. I was doing a particularly hardcore chemo and it just. It really brought me back to the essence of why I started playing guitar in the first place. There was no hair to hide behind, there was nothing. It was just naked. I was exposed and I actually, I took great comfort in that. I thought that's, maybe I needed this lesson in my life. That I'm a guitar player. I'm a musician and I shouldn't give a rat's arse about what my hair looks like. But we all do you know it's a human condition to care about things like that. And you know I think there's a lot of lessons to be learned on everything in life and it hasn't been all bad for me you know. I feel very lucky with all this and that's why again I'm really excited about being able to give back."

NI Hospice Ambassador - News Quote

Northern Ireland Hospice Chairperson Margaret Butler said: “It’s unbelievably exciting for Northern Ireland Hospice to have Vivian Campbell join us as an Ambassador. Vivian took a particular interest in what we do at Hospice and was fascinated that music therapy plays an important part in what we provide for patients and their families.

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