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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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