Former Governor Beebe spokesman loses battle with cancer

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The former spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe passed away Sunday after a nearly three-year battle with cancer. 

Matt DeCample was 44 years old. 

DeCample landed in Little Rock nearly 20 years ago as a TV reporter. It led to a job with then-Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe. DeCample followed his boss to the governor’s mansion and worked as Beebe’s press secretary and communications chief during his two terms.

DeCample was diagnosed with cancer at 41. He started treatment at the Rockefeller Cancer Institute, which Gov. Beebe helped secure the funding for. DeCample also spent a lot of time there throughout the construction process while serving in Beebe’s administration. 

In September of 2017, DeCample was invited to a CNN forum on health care policy that featured a handful of US Senators. He asked a question that Sen. Bernie Sanders answered. Days later, he talked about that forum and the larger debate over health care policy in an interview with Jessi Turnure on “Capitol View”. You can see the full interview segment in the video above.

DeCample documented his journey the past three years on his blog, Mattie D. vs. the Evil C, fighting cancer with one of his greatest gifts: humor. 

DeCample was recently admitted to a clinical trial in Maryland at the National Institute of Health. In his last blog post, DeCample wrote, “Here I lie reclined on the frontier of yet another Undiscovered Cancer Country. Even more than usual, no one knows what comes next. I’ll just keep betting with house money until the next thing happens.” 

In a statement, Beebe said, “We were lucky to have known him. We will not see his like again.”

“Matt had the rare combination of an incredibly quick mind and a depth of knowledge that was truly astounding. I’ve always said that he was Google before Google.

He was a music aficionado, a movie buff, a world of information. He was a diplomat (with the press corps and everyone else), he was kind to each and every one, extremely witty, and had more friends than anyone I know. And, yet, he was also a private man. After receiving his devastating cancer diagnosis, he never complained, he never stopped moving forward, continuing to perform improv up to the very last week of his life.

He was calm and extremely honest and his credibility was unquestioned.

We were lucky to have known him. We will not see his like again.”

Many in the Arkansas community took to social media to remember DeCample: 




 

We will continue to update this story with tributes. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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