Campana family to receive national award from Governor General for work in LGBT community

Nancy and Rob Campana have turned a family tragedy into a wonderful story. Their son Rocky died five years ago after taking his own life. Rocky was gay. On Tuesday they will receive a Meritorious Service Decoration from Governor General Julie Payette, for their work in support of LGBT youth.

Meritorious Service Decorations given to recognize exceptional deeds that bring honour to Canada

Rob and Nancy Campana will be at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Tuesday to receive a Meritorious Service Decoration from Governor General Julie Payette. (Michael Hargreaves/CBC)

Nancy and Rob Campana have turned a family tragedy into a wonderful story. Their son Rocky died five years ago after taking his own life. Rocky was gay.

On Tuesday Rob and Nancy will be at Rideau Hall in Ottawa to receive a Meritorious Service Decoration from Governor General Julie Payette, for their work in support of LGBT youth.

"We were contacted by someone we went to high school with a year-and a half ago," said Nancy. "He was so moved by the change in Windsor and what was happening… he deemed it important for himself to put in that application."

The award recognizes Canadians for exceptional deeds that bring honour to the country. 

"I feel humbled by the award but I also am proud of our community of how they grasped our vision of what we wanted to do in this area," said Rob.

Hear more from the Campana's interview on Windsor Morning.

Nancy and Rob Campana have turned a family tragedy into a wonderful story. Their work in support of LGBT youth has drawn the attention of some people in high places. The Campanas will be in Ottawa tomorrow to receive an award from the Governor General. 8:51

Every year after Rocky's death, his parents organized and oversaw the "Run for Rocky," a five-kilometre run and walk that raised money to support LGBT youth in Windsor Essex.

The final event was held last spring, and over five years it's raised $383,000.

"The fact that we've been able to make some changes in a place where he wanted to see them… and we're hearing gay people say to us 'this is a community where I can now live in' — that's something that's very gratifying to me and gives me peace for Rocky," said Nancy.