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The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia comes to Southwest Louisiana

February 25, 2015

New Walk Wednesday is an opportunity for our amazing supporters to meet the caring individuals who accomplish our mission in your local communities. Today’s guest blogger is Rita Cruse, a grandmother determined to make a difference in the families who have experienced loss because of preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome and new coordinator of the Lake Charles, Louisiana Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. After her daughter’s heartbreaking experience with HELLP syndrome, she decided to make a difference in her community (www.promisewalk.org/LakeCharles):

Katie and Chris, happily married.

Katie and Chris, happily married.

Our story begins in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in February of 2012 when the two lives of my daughter and son-in-law became one at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. In the fall of that year, these two young people would move away from their families to begin their lives together in West Texas. Much to everyone’s happiness, they found they would be blessed with a baby boy the following summer.

Katie, our daughter, is our only child. It was May 2013, and Katie’s dad and I had just returned home after my cataract surgery when his phone rang. We thought Katie was calling to check on me. We couldn’t possibly have grasped the gravity of the situation when she had called us earlier that morning to tell us that she was on her way to see a doctor at the perinatologist’s office.

She told her daddy that she needed us. Now. Her baby son, Griffin’s, tiny heart had stopped beating. Katie was severely ill; her body was being overwhelmed with what we now know was a severe variant of preeclampsia called HELLP Syndrome. Read the rest of this entry »

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7 Easy Steps to a Successful Promise Walk Team

February 23, 2015
What is a team? Just a group of people who want to hang out together and support moms and babies!

What is a team? Just a group of people who want to hang out together at the walk to support moms and babies!

You’re a valuable part of the fight against preeclampsia, eclampsia,  HELLP syndrome and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and your participation in The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia will change the lives of others.

Whether you’re a team member or leader, here are 7 Easy Steps to a successful walk:

Step 1. Set your goal before you start fundraising. Think about the programs and services made possible by the money you raise that will benefit both children and adults affected by preeclampsia. As a team leader, you are the leader for preeclampsia education in your community network.

Step 2. Start early! Once you are registered to walk, your easiest donation will come from yourself. Decide what amount you would like to contribute and make an online donation. Remember that it is always easier to ask others, if you have already sponsored yourself!

Step 3. Ask everyone! Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, business associates, vendors, teachers, doctors, and those you have supported in the past are just starting points. Ask your employer, religious or community group, and businesses that you patronize. Many companies have a matching gift program where the company will match every dollar donated to the Promise Walk by an employee.

Step 4. Choose a fundraising approach that works for you. You can reach a large number of potential supporters using a fundraising letter or e-mail. Other ideas include contact through postcards and telephone calls. Additionally, using social media like Facebook and Twitter will not only bring in donations but will spread awareness of the Preeclampsia Foundation.

Step 5. Select your style. Tell supporters your fundraising goal while talking about the walk. When asking for donations, be relaxed. Show your enthusiasm for the Preeclampsia Foundation. You’ll do best with the style of solicitation that reflects your personality. Make it personal and tell them your own story.

Step 6. Decide on a suggested donation level. People are more willing to donate when they know what you are expecting from them. $20? $50? Decide a level that works for you to get to your goal.

Step 7. Be creative! Establish a “dress down” day at work, hold a bake sale, car wash or dance contest; collect pocket change; have a garage sale or hold a silent auction.

To start a team, here’s a Team Captain’s Welcome Guide with more great tips on how to be the best team in the nation! To join a team near you, visit www.promisewalk.org.

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New Walk Wednesday: Adding Jacksonville, FL to the Promise Walk map

February 4, 2015

New Walk Wednesday is an opportunity for our amazing supporters to meet the caring individuals who accomplish our mission in your local communities. Today’s guest blogger is Alexis McMinn, a preeclampsia survivor and new coordinator of the Jacksonville-area Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. After a harrowing experience with preeclampsia, she decided to make a difference in her community of Northeast Florida: www.promisewalk.org/Jacksonville.

In September of 2012 I was 7 months pregnant. I was at one of my regular check up visits when the nurse noticed that my blood pressure was a little higher than normal. She went through the checklist of other symptoms to see if I was experiencing any of them: headaches, nausea, dizziness, etc. She didn’t seem alarmed.I went home.

A few short weeks later I was at Chuck-E-Cheese with my in-laws, and my sister-in-law said to me, “Are you feeling okay? You don’t look too good.” Little did I realize that I had started blowing up like a balloon. 27 lbs of water weight in just two weeks.

My swelling got out of control. I couldn’t even put on sandals. I woke up one morning, 35 weeks pregnant, and felt horrible. I couldn’t see, I had a migraine, I was throwing up, and I just felt like I was dying. I called my mom and told her I didn’t feel right. She told me that “this is what happens at the end of pregnancy,” but I knew this couldn’t be normal. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Walk Wednesday: Grandmother Brings Walk to her Community

January 21, 2015
Pattie (center) at the 2014 Boston Promise Walk.

Pattie (center) celebrating “Team Addison” at the 2014 Boston Promise Walk.

New Walk Wednesday is an opportunity for our amazing supporters to meet the caring individuals who accomplish our mission in your local communities. Today’s guest blogger is Pattie Mazza, a grandmother from Northeastern Massachusetts with a heart to make a difference.  After their family drove many hours to attend the 2014 Boston Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, Pattie and her sister Lori Hurley decided that they needed to bring something to their area and serve southern New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts. The Methuen, MA Promise Walk was born: www.promisewalk.org/Methuen.

I’m Pattie Mazza the mother of two boys and stepmother of three, two boys and a girl. We have seven grandchildren, one on the way and one granddaughter in heaven.

Our experience with preeclampsia was a chaotic, nerve-racking surprise. My daughter-in-law, Alysa, was 21 weeks pregnant. Through the pregnancy she had a weird pain in her upper abdomen, but the doctor told her it was her body stretching for the baby. With her doctor’s permission, she flew to Florida for a trip, and when she returned she was a little swollen, but thought it was due to flying. She made an appointment with her doctor just to be sure. By the time she took a shower to go, she was swollen to twice her size. Immediately she went to the hospital where they stabilized her and she was transferred to a hospital more equipped to treat her preeclampsia.

After 24 hours of treatment with magnesium and other medications there was nothing else to do but take the baby.

My granddaughter, Addison Grace, was born May 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm took a breath, looked into her mommy and daddy’s eyes and passed in the same minute.

The family went into action to find out how this happened and what we can do to help receive early detection and treatment. We found the Preeclampsia Foundation and Promise Walk and knew we had to be a part of the organization. Not only because of our experience but for all mothers and babies.

My sister and 2015 walk co-coordinator Lori Hurley was doing most of the research, and registered for the Promise Walk in Boston. The rest of the family joined as she passed the information along, eager to do something to help. Lori has a son and two stepsons. As a teacher of special education students, she is very active in researching their disabilities to better help them learn as well as researching any illness that comes up in the family.

After attending the walk in Boston, which is about an hour away from our area, we decided to start a Promise Walk in our community.

Our hope is to bring awareness to the community through the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia Merrimack Valley and Southern NH being held in Methuen, MA at Riverside Park. We hope to gather other families in the community who have experienced preeclampsia, eclampsia and HELLP as well as anyone who would like to join us to be a support to the families. The gathering of the community at the walk gives the mothers and families who experienced these disorders a sense of comradely.

We intend to share all the information from the Preeclampsia Foundation and related articles to as many ob/gyn practices, hospitals and birthing centers as possible. I have meetings set up with two of the local hospitals and Lori is meeting with local private ob/gyn practitioners. We hope that all women and doctors become aware of preeclampsia, eclampsia and HELLP, understand the signs and receive proper treatment, so that we do not lose one more mother or baby to this life changing disorder.

The Methuen, MA Promise Walk for Preeclampsia will be May 23, 2015 from 10-2 at Raymond Martin Riverside Park on Riverside Dr. Methuen, MA; we will have a DJ to play throughout the event. There will be activities for all ages, a memory board for those we have lost and a celebration board for our survivor friends, a great husband and wife survivor story and more. Numerous local businesses have offered to donate refreshments and items for the goodie bags. You can register at www.promisewalk.org/Methuen.

Lori and I along with our extended family would like to thank everyone for all their support and assistance to make this Promise Walk a success.

MAKING STRIDES FOR PREECLAMPSIA with you.

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Looking for a walk near you? Look no further!

January 7, 2015

Hispanic_family2015 is shaping up to be a really exciting season for the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. We have over 40 sites across the nation, with 10 new sites ready for you to join!

Live in the Southeast? Check out new sites in:

Live in the Mid-Atlantic region? Check out new sites in:

Live in the Midwest? Check out new sites in:

Live in the Northeast? Check out a new site in:

Live in the Southwest? Check out a new site in:

For more returning locations, visit www.promisewalk.org and type your state in the search box or via the “Locations” dropdown menu.

Not a returning or new site near you? Participate virtually in your own community!

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Promise Walk Website Gets a Fresh Update!

December 15, 2014

The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia website (www.promisewalk.org) is kicking off the 2015 season with a new look and improved functionality for participants and volunteers. Participants can now upload a gallery of photos to their customizable page, set a profile picture and see where the stand in the Top 5 Individual and Team leaderboards on site pages in real-time. Each participant still has a unique URL to their individual and team fundraising pages, but now you have the ability to set what that URL will be!

Better yet, participants can easily find a walk in their local community and register with ease directly from their mobile devices.

So go check it out and start your team today, because together, we are “Making Strides and Delivering Hope.”

Not a walk near you? Participate in our Virtual Walk!

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