On July 12th, 2014 I lost my identical twin sister, Jennifer Faustman, to complications associated with HELLP Syndrome which is a type of severe preeclampsia. Two days prior to her death she gave birth to her first child, a beautiful little boy. Only hours after giving birth did the first signs of preeclampsia appear. She started to complain of a severe headache and everything spiraled out of control from there.
3 years later her son is a happy, healthy little boy who is very much loved by his daddy and the rest of our family and friends. Yes, he will always know what it is to be loved but my heart breaks for him knowing that he will never REALLY know his mommy. He will never remember hearing her sweet voice, being comforted by her arms, see what a goof ball she was, and how much she genuinely cared for people. Yes, we are so incredibly blessed that nothing happened to him and that she lives on in him but it still doesn't make it any easier.
Prior to her initial diagnosis I had never even heard of preeclampsia let alone HELLP syndrome and neither had the majority of my family and friends. Soon after though some of the stories from friends started trickling in about their experiences with preeclampsia. After doing research I learned that women in the United States are more likely to die from childbirth or pregnancy-related causes than any other women in the developed world. That fact is pulled from CDC.gov.
My sister is why I walk. Her baby boy is why I walk. My family and friends who have experienced this is why I walk. Please help us spread the word and raise awareness about this deadly disease by participating in the Nebraska Promise Walk for Preeclampsia on May 5th, 2018 in Lincoln, NE.
You don't have to physically be at Holmes Lake on the 5th (although it would be super cool if you were!) you can participate virtually by simply creating a team, sending your friends and family the link to your team page, and asking that they consider donating and/or participating to raise awareness! Our donation goal for Nebraska right now is $7,500 but our biggest goal is to raise awareness so that mothers, fathers, children and families never have to experience this deadly disease. I am confident that with your help, we can reach these goals!