Helene Campbell gets Diamond Jubilee medal from PM
Organ donor advocate Helene Campbell received a Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal from Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Toronto on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:38PM EDT
Organ donation advocate Helene Campbell was awarded with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal Wednesday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Harper, accompanied by his wife Laureen, presented 21-year-old Campbell with the medal in the Toronto apartment where she is recovering from a double lung transplant she received on April 6.
"This is for recognition of your tremendous work raising awareness of the importance of organ donation and, obviously, your personal courage in all that," Harper told Campbell. "You've been a great inspiration to many, many Canadians, and people who have seen you worldwide."
A total of 60,000 Diamond Jubilee medals will be handed out this year to Canadians who've made significant contributions to their communities. The medal ceremonies mark Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne, along with other events across the country.
Campbell, who hails from Ottawa, made international headlines as she campaigned for people to become organ donors while she was waiting for her own double-lung transplant.
She chronicled her journey on a blog and through Twitter, received an endorsement from Justin Beiber and appeared on the Ellen Degeneres Show in a Skype interview.
Campbell received her own transplant in April for a condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which was slowly shutting down her lungs.
Since the transplant, Campbell's doctors and her parents have updated the public in a series of press conferences, saying that Campbell's progress was going slowly, but well.
Campbell will be in the spotlight again Thursday, when she will make her first public appearance after the transplant at a press conference in Toronto.
She will be joined by her parents, doctors and a representative from the Trillium Gift of Life Network.