I have always been a firm believer in organ donation. I signed my donor card the day I turned 16, and the thought of "outliving myself" by donating my organs made complete sense to me.
I just never thought that I would need a transplant. The truth is, it could happen to anyone. I am not trying to scare you, but take my story as an example. If you had told me that I was going to need a lung transplant 10 years ago, I would have never believed you, and laughed!
In grade 12, I wrote an Independent Study Unit on transplantation. I found out that Canada is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to Organ Donation. "Why?" I wonder.
We don't control what happens to us, but we do have control of the way we react to situations.
Someone asked my mother how she felt about [her] daughter needing a transplant, and my mom said "We hope that through Helene's Story, people will realize the need for organ donation."
An idea was born...
In January 2012, my friends and I started a Twitter campaign with the hashtag '#BeAnOrganDonor'
Our goal was to get Justin Bieber to retweet the message. We were hoping that he would share it with his 18 Million followers, and that it would encourage people to talk about Organ Donation.
Justin Bieber shared the message with his followers, and the world was watching. Registrations went up. Later in March, I was surprised by The Ellen DeGeneres Show through Skype to talk about my cause to encourage people to be organ donors.
Organ donation is a cause that is quite literally near and dear to my heart. I have been given the greatest gift of all, time. I will continue to advocate for organ donation and I will to use my voice to encourage others to consider giving the gift of life after you have passed.