WBTV’s Steve Crump marks milestone anniversary of personal cancer journey

Twelve hours after my initial diagnosis, one doctor suggested hospice for me.
Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 2:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2023 at 7:35 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Moments of hospital confinement have loudly amplified the five bold words that changed my life.

The five words were … “Mr. Crump, you have cancer.”

Twelve hours after my initial diagnosis, one doctor suggested hospice for me.

Calling the last five years of this journey a rollercoaster ride would be a gross understatement. It has meant spending challenging weeks and months in hospitals between Atlanta and Concord, but there have been many surprising moments.

Among them, winning a Mid-South Emmy Award weeks after being released from the hospital. Our entry focused on the Orangeburg Massacre at South Carolina State University.

My partner on the project, WBTV Photographer Kevin Marlow, said the words in the acceptance speech.

“And I want to thank my partner, Steve Crump. He isn’t here. He’s been having some cancer. And we heard that he will be coming back soon and we’re happy for that.”

Related: Four Years Later: A reporter’s reflections on a personal cancer journey

My colleagues at WBTV have been with me every step of the way.

“New at five o’clock ... he has been a beloved member of the WBTV news family for 32 years. Steve Crump has covered a lot of stories, but this by far has been his most personal.”

Nine months after getting the unfortunate news, there was another humbling experience.

Returning to work not only meant chasing stories in the Carolinas and beyond; it also meant getting the word out with my oncologist Dr. Mohammed Salem regarding lifesaving colon cancer screening.

“So it’s very important to get screened and checked out, and it’s important if you feel anything, you should get it checked out and talk to your doctor,” he said.

Related: Steve Crump details his journey three years after being diagnosed with cancer

Getting back to the rollercoaster. We remain very thankful for the highs.

They have come through mountaintop moments like tossing out the first pitch at a Charlotte Knights game, being recognized as Charlottean of the Year by Charlotte Magazine, having a portrait placed on the wall of the Gantt Center as part of an exhibit connected to the Smithsonian acknowledging the triumphs of African American men, and being honored by the North Carolina Humanities Council with the John Tyler Caldwell award.

“Steve has been a standout journalist at WBTV for more than four decades, and that only begins to describe his contributions to the Carolinas,” former Charlotte Observer Editor Rick Thames said when making the presentation.

Recovering from such an illness continues to require faith in God, guidance from a skilled medical team, and unwavering support, love and care from my wife, Cathy.

Hard to believe that it’s been five years and in the words of an Elton John song ... “I’m Still Standing.”