Español 101

(Note: Posted by the webmaster for Hélène via e-mail)

I never know what to blog about so I have decided to blog about almost everything. For those of you who didn't know, I have been taking spanish lessons every morning. When I went to Barcelona to study Spanish, I made quite the impression on a teacher, Alberto. Now, we spend 20 minutes each morning on skype improving my spanish.

How it all began... I signed into facebook and *beboop* I got an instant message.

"Alberto: Hola Helene! ¿Qué tal todo? I´m writting you to make you an offer!! I´m going to make a Spanish learning podcast, and need a student to make the programs and show how you can improve in the language with the right training. You are funny, clever and willing to learn, so, would you like to do the podcast with me? The only condition is to be able to do one program a day (15 to 20 minutes). From Monday to Friday. We can record it in the morning, before starting all the day jobs, or in the evening, before going to bed. How do you see it?

Hélène Campbell: Hola Alberto! I would love to help you out with that! I think it is awesome! When would you do this?

Alberto: Helene!! Well, we can start tomorrow! Mi idea is start with a "start learning Spanish in 10 lessons", so we would start out with the very basics...and see what we can achive in 10 lessons :D:D. Add me in Skype! and we can talk about it!!"

Since then, I have been improving my spanish and more importantly, I've been helping out a friend.

I won't be able to skype this week because I don't have wifi in my apartment, so the podcasts aren't complete yet but I'll post the link when they're ready. :)

So if any of you want spanish lessons, I'll be on skype between... Haha just kidding,

Hasta pronto amigos,



thoughts, transplant, toronto

(Note: Posted by the webmaster for Hélène via e-mail)

I'm finding it funny, how quickly I have been asked to slow down. Its crazy, in September my respirologist discussed treatment options - transplant being the last one. I knew it involved several unknowns, risks, relocation, and a lot of waiting but I honestly didn't think it would involve me.

I remember talking to Vince on skype, telling him 'they said if worst comes to worst I might need a transplant and I would have to move to Toronto, but I really doubt that will happen!'.

Well, here I am, driving around what now seems to be the centre of my universe. I'll be assessed this week for el double lung transplant. I don't really know what's next but will have more of an idea in a couple weeks, when all the results get back. Hoa baby I can't wait.

I'll try and blog these four days of assessments daily..

Hasta luego baby dolls,

ps did any of you catch the football giants game yesterday? gogiants...

Donor cards and giving blood

Hi everyone ...

It has been an eventful day, with Hélène's story appearing on the front page of the Metro Ottawa newspaper (click here for the online version of the newspaper story).

Canadian Blood Services contacted with this very relevant message ...


Hélène's story is very powerful and it's hard not to be moved by her family's courage.

There are three important messages for us all to consider:

  1. Each of us should take a minute to sign an organ and tissue donor card or whatever other mechanism is place to capture our personal wish in this regard.
  2. We should talk about the importance of organ and tissue donation and transplantation with our family, friends and colleagues. Without more discussions there will continue to be a shortage of organs and tissues, and waiting lists will get longer.
  3. Organ transplants often use large amounts of blood products. If you want to help patients like Hélène, and are eligible, make an appointment to donate blood.



Trillium Gift of Life (Ontario, Canada)

Canadian Blood Services


(Webmaster for

hola amigos!

As some of you already know, I have been diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. This means that my lungs have been scarred due to inflammation, and the cause of the inflammation is unknown. Basically, my lungs are not in the best shape. I did some PFT's* and they concluded I have a 24% lung function. I have been on Prednisone (not pregnizone haha) and it turns out the inflammation is irreversible and so the only option left open to me is a lung transplant.

With 24% still going , I have been walking at 1/4 of my usual speed - and for those who know me - I never slow down so this has been difficult for me. I have lost the ability to exercise and need some oxy (oxygen) to preform regular tasks. As much as it is hard to slowdown, times like this open your eyes to little things you can so easily miss. 

I've been referred The Toronto General to be assessed for transplant, to see if I’d be a good candidate for the surgery and the life after transplant. I have a series of appointments in Toronto, from December 12th to December 17th, which will determine my placement on the list.  They do not transplant in Ottawa - my beautiful HOME CITY - so I have to relocate to Toronto once on the list. My momma Manon will be coming with me as my support person. She da best.

 I just have to slip this in for my sake, not a leafs fan... Go Sens Go!


I plan to post updates on here from time to time as we journey down this road to transplant, it will be good to let everyone know what we are up to and how we are getting on.

Hasta La Vista!
*(pulmonary function tests = where you blow into a machine and it calculates the volume of air you can push through) Haha I am getting all medical terminology smart and so will you ;) 
ALSO - I would like to thank Taber Bucknell for EVERYTHING he has done in order to make alungstory happen. I, along with many others, appreciate all the time and effort you have put into this.
Muchas Gracias Taber!