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Thank you for the requests for Hélène's mailing address.

Ms. Hélène Campbell
c/o L'Agence Mensour Agency Ltd.
41 ch. Springfield Rd.
Ottawa, Ontario K1M 1C8

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When I got that call about a week ago, a couple things went through my mind!

"Oh no! I haven't been able to blog about the gifts from my co-workers yet!" Then I thought "Man, I was supposed to make cupcakes this afternoon with one of my breathless sisters this afternoon!" (My friend from the transplant program) and last but not least, I thought  "Ah! I won't be able to go to the Hunger Games Premiere!"

It would have been a very valid reason to miss out on those opportunities. But the reality of waiting is you never know when it will happen until it happens. Even leading up to the very last moment. The surgery had been planned for 7am and at 6:58, the Dr. said 'Sorry Hélène, the surgery has been cancelled.’ I had been warned that they could cancel and immediately I knew it wasn't my time yet, they weren't the perfect match.

I felt sad, but not for myself. I was grieving with the family who had just lost someone. A ton of people were supporting our family during the False Alarm. Mauler from the Hot 89.9 Radio Station got his followers in Ottawa and many more to send us encouraging tweets all day. The encouragement and the gorgeous sunny day was the perfect reciepe to not feel down. Thank You Mauler!

When I first got the call, I called home to let the rest of the family know. The phone rang and rang and I kept planning what I would say 'Guys! I got the call'… But after about 20 attempts, there was still no pick up. We eventually had to ask someone to go over and ring the doorbell. It turns out our phones back home kick in to 'Night Mode' so they're quiet between 11 pm and 5am. Things are getting smarter and smarter; maybe a little too smart. I suggested they plug the old rotary phone in. When those suckers ring, they are always heard.

A week before the ‘false alarm’ call happened, my co-workers sent me absolutely amazing heartwarming gifts, which brought me back to where I was a year ago. Where was I? I was working. Working as a Part Time Clerk with The Ottawa Hospital, in The Dialysis and Nephrology Unit at The Riverside Campus. (Love You With All My Kidney) I was working, or as some say 'blizzin', at the busiest Dairy Queen in Barrhaven. (Missin Blizzin and Dipping Cones) And I was occasionally volunteering at Cedarview Alliance Church. (Tante Lisette - I’m Alive)

A huge chunk of our family's ‘rock solid supporters’ come from these three places. I am honored to have met with such amazing people on such a regular basis. I’ve been surrounded by a love from such a powerful family, who have made me who I am today.

From the long lasting loving family over at Cedarview Alliance, to the amazing staff at Good Old Dairy Queen Barrhaven to my many magnificent second-mothers who have managed to support my crazy mannerisms over at The Ottawa Hospital. I have always felt so supported and loved. I always had a reason to keep smiling, laughing and loving, and why would I ever stop.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the people you see every day really do make a big difference in who you are and how you handle things down the road. They help shape you into who you become. And just because you see them all the time doesnt mean you shouldnt stop and take the time to let them know how they have impacted you. Maybe it sounds silly but I wish I had done it more often!




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Reader Comments (2)

Hi Helene,

Your "night mode" experience made me laugh because it reminded me of the night my dad got the call for his liver transplant. It was just after 9pm when the phone rang in our house. My sister, her husband, and my parents were all home when we got a phone call which rang (the 3 rings representing a long distance call from the 705 area code). We were all in separate rooms, watching tv and no one bothered to answer the phone! We all figured it was a telemarketer and we let the phone ring for like 20 times without answering it! Immediately after the phone stopped ringing, my dads cell phone began to rang. My dad knew instantly that this call was going to be an important call. Oddly enough, his pager was never contacted.
We were told to go take our time but begin the trek down to Toronto General Hospital. We were told the transplant would not take place until the afternoon of the next day, but tests had to be run on my dad just to make sure thing could move forward.

That night my brother in-law and I spent the entire night in the halls of the transplant wing, just sitting around and as you stated, I was also overcome with extreme sadness and guilt for the family who had just lost a loved one. While we are all told that we should not feel guilty, I think it's just human to feel this way. While we will forever feel in debt for the gift we receive, the common theme I keep hearing from all of us is we do as much as possible to give back to the cause, to raise awareness so that others in need will have the same opportunity as we did.

Your turn is coming! Thanks for all the hard work you're doing for our cause! Go Leafs Go! lol. Sorry, had to throw that in there after Saturdays game! #LYLT

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoey Esposito

I am so happy for you Helene. Your positivity allowed you to make it through! I know that you will treat your new lungs with a great sense of pride and respect. You deserve the best. Continue to shine.

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterC.B.

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