Hélène Campbell: Individuals make a difference

Hélène Campbell: Individuals make a difference

I’m in the process of pulling together a documentary on the role social media played in Hélène Campbell‘s efforts to raise awareness of organ donation. In this clip, Hélène explains the importance of individuals, each individual, in making change. (Full disclosure: I’m an advisor as part of Hélène’s team.)


Even before he tweeted online registrations went up by three hundred percent. That’s a fact Trillium told us. And that was for me, just, Wow! We don’t even need to reach out to a celebrity.

Sure it helps with worldwide attention. The fact that just, people being aware, jumping on board have registered online — that’s fascinating.

Use of social media without reaching out to someone, just all these people trying to reach to one, to reach to many more, those people is how news got spread. They registered as well.

So that was for me… even if he hadn’t tweeted, even if one person had registered because of that,
it’s amazing.

Become a registered organ donor through Facebook

Become a registered organ donor through Facebook

Double-lung transplant recipient Hélène Campbell and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq joined Jordan Banks, Managing Director of Facebook Canada, to announce a new Facebook app which allows Canadian members to register as organ donors.

Canada joins more than a dozen other countries with this new Facebook functionality. 275,000 people have become registered organ donors through Facebook since it launched this initiative in May.

Welcome home, Hélène!

I had the privilege of being invited to attend today’s media event to welcome home double-lung transplant recipient Hélène Campbell. The event was hosted by Jeff Mauler of Ottawa’s Hot 89.9 at the Government of Canada Conference Centre.

Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq presented Hélène with a traditional Inuit ulu which represents strength. Ms. Aglukkaq also announced $10 million Conservative Government commitment to support national transplant research program, an announcement echoed by Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre. During his remarks, Hélène’s father Alan thanked all of Canada; and Hélène’s mom Manon raved about the amazing care they experienced.

For her part, Hélène is focused on her continued recovery program. She is writing a book and plans to return to her studies. Perhaps the most entertaining part of her comments was how thrilled she is that she can actually “run to the bathroom” on her own steam.

We anxiously awaited news that you had taken your first unassisted breath with your new lungs.

When you exhaled, we exhaled, too.
–Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq to Hélène Campbell

After months of providing support and input for Hélène’s online efforts, it was a thrill to be finally introduced. It was the highlight of my day.

The following is video I recorded of today’s event.

Torch of Life Relay event in Ottawa for BeADonor.ca

Friday was Hélène Campbell day in Ottawa. Following a ceremony at Ottawa City Hall, Conservative MP Harold Albrecht led a Torch of Life procession to Parliament Hill. Master of Ceremony Jeff Mauler from Hot 89.9 introduced Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan, NDP MP Peter Stoffer, Green Party MP Elizabeth May, Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod, Torch of Life CEO George Marcello and torch bearer Khaled Khatib.

Register to be an organ donor at BeADonor.ca.

This video documents the entire Parliament Hill event.

(Quoted from alungstory.ca) The Torch of Life relay has been an annual event since 2004. The goal of these campaigns is to raise awareness of the need for organ and tissue donations. This event is sponsored by Step by Step Organ Transplant Association. Its mission is to empower students’ participation in promoting organ and tissue donations throughout their communities, inspiring the public, media, and the 3 levels of government.

The 2012 Torch of Life relay includes 75 Ontario cities, including Ottawa on March 30th. It will end its course on June 19th at Queen’s Park in Toronto. This year’s campaign, Register Now, is challenging people in each community to register at beadonor.ca and to actively promote tissue and organ donations.

Let’s save 75 lives in 2 weeks!

I donated blood this morning for the first time in years. For the purpose of this post, let’s suppose that today was the first time I donated blood.

I was amazed to learn that a single donation by a single person will save three lives in five days. That’s right! A blood donation has immediate impacts. It doesn’t sit in a bank while organizations figure out how and where to use it. It saves lives this week! Lives in your own local community. And it only takes 10 minutes. Well, 20 or so once you factor in the paperwork, etc…

How about a reasonable challenge? I would like to know that 25 people in my social network have made a blood donation by April 30. That’s 75 lives saved in two weeks. I believe we can do that!