Today we feature an interview with volunteer Rosemary Jorden. Besides being an active Community Forum moderator and crucial member of our Patient Support Network, Rosemary has used her creativity and skill with a needle over the years to create four preeclampsia memorial quilts for the Saving Grace – A Night of Hope gala and the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. This year, both the 2011 and the 2012 Promise Walk Memorial Quilts will be traveling the country to be displayed at 10 different walks by the survivors and their families who painstakingly created the quilts’ squares.
How did you first get involved with the Preeclampsia Foundation?
I first got involved in the Foundation after losing my son at 20 weeks in my pregnancy due to PE/HELLP. I was searching the internet for “preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome” and came across the Foundation’s site. I was just looking for answers to my questions and trying to understand what happened to me, and why.
There is a history of memorial quilts here at the Foundation centered around the Saving Grace gala. What first inspired you to extend your talents to make a memorial quilt for the Promise Walk?
The original idea for a quilt came from a few of the ladies who posted on the Grief and Loss section of the Community Forum, and from that idea came the two Saving Grace quilts. Then, while in Chicago for Saving Grace a few years ago, [National Promise Walk Director] Becky Sloan and I were talking about continuing on the tradition of the Saving Grace Memory Quilts. Becky suggested that we couple a new quilt with the Promise Walks. I loved the idea of creating another quilt that could be displayed at some of the Promise Walks around the country, and was honored to coordinate another quilt project.
There will be TWO Promise Walk quilts traveling around the country this year. How do you feel about the uniqueness of each piece?
Every square on each of the four quilts is a unique creation. There are approximately 90 squares that make up the four quilts [Two Saving Grace and two Promise Walk quilts]. Each square of fabric represents a life lost or a life touched by preeclampsia. This year, like last year, the quilt will travel to a few of the Promise Walk locations. It’s important for those who contributed a square to see the finished quilt. Many have expressed how therapeutic it is to create a square, and see their square become part of a large quilt.
What do you feel is the lasting legacy of the quilts on the Promise Walk event?
The quilt joins pieces of fabric, but it also joins lives and tells so many stories. The quilt has been created by many, many hands with much love and care. I believe that the quilt makes an indelible impression on those who see and touch it.