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“New Walk” Wednesday: San Jose Coordinator Puts Fresh Spin on Returning Walk

April 2, 2014

Barnetts Quinn Six Months-178Elizabeth and Tyler Barnett came to the Preeclampsia Foundation in the most tragic of circumstances: the loss of their son Cooper Landon Barnett at 23 weeks due to severe preeclampsia.

“In the moment everything happened so quickly and we did not know much about preeclampsia,” said Elizabeth. Their search for information brought them to the Preeclampsia Foundation, providing them with support, education and an outlet to take action in honor of Cooper. The Barnetts and their loved ones participated in the inaugural San Jose Promise Walk in May 2011, and never looked back since, ensuring Cooper’s memory will not be forgotten.

My favorite memory of past walks is the first walk we participated in and having all our friends and family there around us, supporting us, loving us and giving us strength to get through a very difficult time,” said Elizabeth.  “It was healing for us and exactly what we needed.”

Their deep connection to the cause led Elizabeth to take a leadership role for the walk in the fourth annual San Jose, California Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, and she decided to shake things up. The 2014 walk will be held at new location Santana Row, a great downtown location with plenty of public visibility and shopping for the families that attend. It is a family-friendly event, with lots of activities for kids and a great sense of community for people who are passionate about the maternal health cause. Dr. Maurice Druzin, co-chair of the Preeclampsia Task Force for the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, the group that created the new Preeclampsia Toolkit for the state of California, will be the guest speaker at the event.

She has also worked to develop a strong team of volunteers from those same family and friends who attended the 2011 walk, now working together to solicit sponsorships, handle promotions, direct registration, and spread the word.

Happily, Elizabeth and Tyler, got to celebrate the healthy birth of their daughter Quinn in 2013, and are expecting again. Elizabeth has been carefully monitored in both pregnancies, and agrees that knowledge is power. Her goal for the event is to increase awareness to new audiences, so they know the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia and take it seriously.

To join the Barnett family and friends at the San Jose Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, visit www.promisewalk.org/sanjose.

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