Please join us as we support the Preeclampsia Foundation's work for healthy mothers and babies!
Why do WE walk? We walk to honor the memory of our firstborn son and daughter, whose lives were lost to preeclampsia. We walk to honor the doctors who saved my life. We walk to celebrate the physicians, research, and medicine that allowed us the safe arrival of our three living children. And we walk for the future - for our children's future pregnancies and for our sisters, neighbors, cousins, friends, and ALL mothers who deserve nothing less than a healthy and joyful pregnancy!
Here’s what you need to know:
What is preeclampsia? Preeclampsia is a life-threatening disorder of pregnancy that impacts both the mother and baby. It effects roughly 10 million women worldwide each year.
Preeclampsia is most often characterized by high blood pressure (caused by damage to the mother’s blood vessels) and proteinuria (caused by disturbed kidney function), and progresses to affect other organs including the mother’s liver, lungs, brain, heart, and blood clotting system. Preeclampsia can cause a baby to grow more slowly than normal in the womb, or suffer a potentially harmful oxygen deficiency.
Yeah, that sounds familiar. My cousin/neighbor/coworker had it, and had to have her baby a few days/weeks early. No big deal, right? WRONG. Preeclampsia kills. It kills 500,000 babies and 76,000 mothers every single year. It accounts for approximately 20% of all babies in the NICU at any given time. All women who have preeclampsia – of any severity and at any point in pregnancy - walk away with a doubled risk of stroke and quadrupled risk of high blood pressure later in life.
Yeah, but science and medicine can do so much. . . Here’s what’s so unbelievable: preeclampsia is one of the oldest diseases on record – but we still don’t know its cause, a way to prevent it, or a way to cure it. Isn’t that crazy?! (And, of course, by “crazy” I mean “completely unacceptable.”) We have to find a cause and a cure for this monster before all of our children have children. We just have to.
So what does the Preeclampsia Foundation do about it? We provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research, and improve healthcare practices. We’re the only national non-profit focused on preeclampsia and the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Check us out at www.preeclampsia.org for more info.
But do we really need any more “awareness” these days? YES. Awareness saves lives. Less than half of well-educated pregnant women know the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia, and those who do often don’t understand.
Want proof? I was one of those women. I read every pregnancy book and website I could. I was 20 weeks pregnant with twins and over the moon. I was so thrilled to be pregnant that I didn’t want to complain about a thing. I told myself that my headaches, swelling, weight gain, and flu-like symptoms were normal. . . Then the next thing I knew, I was in the hospital being told that I had HELLP Syndrome (a severe variant of preeclampsia) and that I was dying. Literally. Our perfect, loved, wanted-more-than-life babies we spent years trying to conceive - were born too early to survive. The only reason I did is because I happened to have a regularly-scheduled OB appointment on that exact day. Were it not for that, doctors say I would have suffered a massive seizure or hemorrhage.
We support the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia and the mission of the Preeclampsia Foundation for all the reasons mentioned above. . .
BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! Will you join us in making strides against preeclampsia?!
We're, sadly, unable to walk in-person this year- so we want to make a HUGE impact financially! Please consider supporting the Promise Walk by making a donation in support of our team. Just click the "Donate" button! Every dollar makes a REAL difference in the lives of moms and babies!
Beth & Bryan