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The 2016 Promise Walk Season is Finished… How Have We Moved the Bar?

August 2, 2016

There is an often-quoted Margaret Mead saying: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Although when it comes to an incredibly complex disease like preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome, it might feel like we are making slow progress, it’s important to reflect back to you, that small group of “thoughtful, committed citizens,” that you ARE changing the world.

13301394_1065798863480914_407192775218730275_oThe Promise Walk for Preeclampsia is at the heart of the Preeclampsia Foundation’s identity. It is the way that many people first experience our organization’s compassion and inclusion. It is also an annual opportunity to gather with people who so perfectly understand what you have been through because of preeclampsia. In the most far-reaching terms, it’s the way that preeclampsia survivors and their families can make a financial difference that will help us end the dire effects of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

This year, over 4,700 people MADE that difference and raised almost $450,000 to create change for our world. We raise money to enact powerful change.

Consider the change that is already happening just because YOU, a “committed citizen”, took part in the 2016 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.

  • It allowed us to develop, print, and subsidize the purchase cost for our new Signs and Symptoms Poster. The Poster is an extension of our Illustrated Symptoms Pad, and is a constant reminder on the walls of your care providers’ offices of the importance of preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome education. In addition to signs and symptoms information, it includes information about blood pressure and urine testing so patients know how their providers are looking for preeclampsia. It doesn’t get any more powerful than that!
  • We were able to partner with a Mexico-based communications firm to provide patient education and emotional support to over 6,000 preeclampsia survivors in Mexico who had nowhere to turn during their preeclampsia experience. Now, not only do they have a place to come and talk about their own experiences, they can share Spanish-language resources of education and support like our website with other women they know. No matter what language you speak or in what country you reside, that is the power of shared community. “Mi hijo y yo sobrevivimos a la preclampsia y al hellp!! Que bueno que haya una fundación que informe a las futuras madres sobre este mal!!” (“My son and I survived preeclampsia and HELLP. How great that there is a Foundation that informs future mothers about this terrible condition!”) – A review by a Mexican Facebook follower
  • Finally, your donations have also allowed us to invest significant time and resources into The Preeclampsia Registry (TPR) to make it the best data resource for preeclampsia researchers. We are unlike any other registry in the sense that we are not just providing raw data to researchers, but are involved and collaborative in making sure that these studies have the best chance of being successful. Some of the studies currently underway include a genetic study focusing on symptoms, a paper that will talk about the data from the first 1,000 registrants, and genetic studies looking at cardiovascular disease risk among many others. Our investment in TPR also ensures that we can come full-circle in talking to TPR participants about what new studies are finding thanks in part to their personal contributions to research through our regular TPR newsletter. Your support has helped TPR remain patient-centric! Research Coordinator Alina Brewer provided one example: “We’ve invested time and money in obtaining medical records to make a more robust data set, and what’s nice is that participants can access their records once we get them.”

You helped to make these things possible. Let’s continue celebrating the great work that the Promise Walk does for families across the globe!

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