Embraced by a community far from home

Among the lessons learned by exchange student Edoardo Campus as he battles cancer is that the people of northern Ozaukee County have big hearts

AMONG THE volunteers who pitched in to help raise money for foreign exchange student Edoardo Campus during an event in Waubeka last weekend was Angie Aberle, who sold raffle tickets. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

Ozaukee High School foreign exchange student Edoardo Campus is in good spirits after starting his second round of chemotherapy on Monday at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa.

“I’m a little nauseous and have some pain in my stomach, but I feel lucky. I’ll be fine,” said Campus, 18, as he was recuperating at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin after treatment. 

In March, the Italian student was diagnosed with stage 3 emryonal carcinoma, which resulted in his right testicle being removed, but two masses remained.

Last Saturday, a fundraiser was held for Campus at Stoney Hill Bar & Grill in Waubeka, where about 70 people raised approximately $2,000 for his medical expenses. 

According to his host mother Mary Kay Heinold,  Campus’ medical bills total about $40,000 for chemotherapy, blood work and other tests and scans that aren’t covered by insurance. 

“When the chips are down, the community always comes through. We help our own,” said fundraiser organizer Tim Job, whose son Sean was Campus’ assistant basketball coach.

During the fundraiser, Campus pulled the winning raffle tickets and danced with patrons for $5.

“I was surprised with all the people who wanted to dance with me,” Campus said. “I’m not really much of a dancer so I was kind of confused with what to do.”  

Campus’ father Claudio, who is on work leave, is staying with the Heinold family and said he was taken aback by the support the community is showing his son.

“It was amazing. We were so excited to be there with all the people wishing us the best with his healing. It was very impressive to me,” he said. “I don’t have any words to describe the people here. We feel blessed and lucky to live in this area.”

Before Campus leaves for home on June 15, he will have an MRI on May 31 to check the impact chemotherapy is working on the two masses.

His family lives in the city of Sassari, which is on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Campus and his father will live in Rome for about two months for another two rounds of chemotherapy because the island is about an hour-long flight to the hospital.

“It’s going to be the same experience we are living here,” his father said.

Campus said he initially wanted to pursue medicine in college and now wants to become an oncology doctor because of his battle with cancer.

He said he will miss the friends he made in America but plans to remain in touch via social media.

“Of course I don’t want my trip to be over because I really like it here,” he said. “It’s a bittersweet feeling.”



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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