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Augusta, GA 30903
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Many of you have been asking about Tom Campbell since he disappeared from the airwaves a few months ago.
After 16 years on the air, it seems strange for us not to see him in the newsroom or have him here with us on the set.
And while you miss watching him, we miss having him here in the newsroom.
For those of you who haven't heard the news, Tom's been out of work battling cancer.
Tom stopped by recently to check his mail and to spend an afternoon in familiar surroundings.
"It feels quite normal, very nice to be here," he said. "Obviously, a big thrill for me to come back today, sit down for a little while and see a lot of people I know."
And it was good for us, too. Good to have Tom back where he belongs.
He took the familiar walk from the newsroom down the hallway and to the studio where he spent so much of his time anchoring the news.
"I just feel energized and happy and thankful when I come here because, you know this place has been a big part of my life for 16 years and it always will be," Tom said.
For Tom, Augusta has been much more than just another stop in a 44-year career.
"This is the place I've worked the longest," he said. "This is what I consider my home and I've enjoyed it every single day -- and I'm just thankful to have the opportunity to do this."
Tom doesn't have family here -- not in the traditional sense anyway. So when his friends at News 12 found out he was sick, they volunteered to do anything he needed.
"Of course I have tremendous respect for people here at the TV station who have helped me so much," he said.
Tom quickly realized the viewers became his family, too, when he made a discovery that changed his life.
Around the end of last winter Tom noticed a pain in his back.
"And I thought I'd hurt myself bending over my cat litter box. One of those needless cat litter box related injuries," he said. "Well, it turns out it was a tumor on my back."
And that discovery led to more tumors near his bile duct.
His cancer is aggressive and so is the treatment. Tom's had 15 rounds of radiation and 10 to 12 rounds of chemotherapy.
And there's more ahead for Tom -- he's set to have more rounds of chemotherapy and another CT scan.
"I have a lot more energy now than I did and you know, I'm feeling optimistic," he said.
A challenge, to say the least. Tom draws strength from other cancer patients.
"It just makes me really proud of them and their courage rubs off on me; you know if they can do it, I can do it, too," he said.
And Tom gets strength from somewhere else, too -- your cards and your prayers.
"The viewers who have told me they're praying for me, thinking about me -- I don't know most of 'em -- and again it makes you feel real small," he said. "But it's a great feeling for me to know that somebody cares about me."
And we at News 12 absolutely do.
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