Columbiana Co. teen keeps spirits high as cancer battle continues

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WYTV) – Monday was a good day for a Wellsville teen who has been fighting cancer for a year now.

WYTV first told you about 15-year old Gavin Campbell back in September when he started collecting police patches as a way to keep his spirits up. And Gavin — who dreams of becoming a police officer one day — now has more than 2,000 patches from departments around the world.

“When I thought of this, I didn’t even think of getting patches,” Gavin said. “I just thought I would meet a couple of police officers and maybe get a couple badges, but nothing like this.”

Monday’s delivery of patches came from Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Kearns. It included a patch from a Montreal department.

But that wasn’t the only reason spirits were high in the Campbell household Monday. Knowing that he has just one more round of chemotherapy treatment left had his spirits up, too.

“I’m happy it’s basically almost all over,” Gavin said.

“He’s our son, but he’s really set the standard for even us,” Gavin’s father Michael Campbell said. “To what to look at in life and, again, to count the smallest things, because the smallest things you take for granted — and they can be gone.”

Gavin was diagnosed with cancer a year ago this month. The Campbells say it’s been a difficult journey.

“That’s the hardest thing, is to push aside the evident pain and let life go forward,” Michael Campbell said. “Gavin’s been amazingly strong.”

Now that they can start to move on, one of the first things they’re going to do is try to figure out where to put all these patches.

“Even though I only have one more chemo treatment left, I probably will be getting more even after that’s done and over with,” Gavin said.

Of course, Gavin’s also excited to head back to school and then follow that dream and head to the police academy.