Advocates for the Preeclampsia Foundation — a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing maternal and infant illness and death due to preeclampsia, a life-threatening disorder of pregnancy — will be participating in and raising money for the Foundation’s annual Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. The event, which this year is taking place in more than a dozen cities around the country to support innovative research and raise public awareness about the warning signs of preeclampsia, will be held here at McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg on Saturday, May 14, at 10 am. Registration begins at 9 am.
Those in attendance will hear from women who have experienced preeclampsia, as well as meet children who have survived the disease. There will be face painting and other activities for children. Participants may also purchase raffle tickets for a variety of donated prizes. The cost to participate is $20 for adults and $10 for children; both fees include a T-shirt. Children may also walk for free without a T-shirt. Event sponsors include Dean & St. Mary’s, UW Health, Meriter and The Capital Times.
The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, with the tagline “Making Strides, Delivering Hope,” makes a clear connection with the mission of the Preeclampsia Foundation — a commitment to better outcomes for those whose lives have been or will be touched by preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. That “promise” includes finding a cure, supporting families, and ensuring education and awareness for all pregnant women.
“We are delighted with the enthusiasm our volunteers have demonstrated for The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia this year,” said National Promise Walk Director Becky Sloan. “Last year’s Promise Walk was an overwhelming success as we doubled our revenue, walked in more cities and reached more people with lifesaving. We are very excited to continue this momentum in 2011, since we know that greater awareness and knowledge will result in healthier birth outcomes. We take great pride in our staff and our volunteers for this bold undertaking.”
For the Madison area, this will be the seventh annual walk, attracting an unprecedented number of walkers and supporters with the goal of raising $5,000 toward helping women and their infants who suffer from the devastating effects of preeclampsia. The event’s national goal is to raise $225,000.
Visit www.promisewalk.org for specific information about the Madison Promise Walk and other walks around the nation. Registration is available online. Non-walkers are encouraged to support other participants or walk teams to help meet Madison’s fundraising goals. Walk-up registration will be permitted as well.
About Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period, and affects both the mother and the fetus. It is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine; other symptoms may include swelling in the hands and face, headaches, and visual disturbances. Preeclampsia affects the mother’s kidneys, liver and other vital organs and, if undetected or untreated, can lead to seizures (eclampsia), cerebral hemorrhage, failure in vital organs and death. The cause of preeclampsia is still not fully understood, and the only cure for the condition begins with delivery. Approximately 5 to 8 percent of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia, which, in the United States, translates to approximately 300,000 pregnancies. It is a leading cause of preterm birth, and is responsible for approximately 76,000 maternal deaths and half a million infant deaths worldwide annually. There are several types of preeclampsia, including HELLP syndrome, a particularly dangerous variant.
About the Preeclampsia Foundation: The Preeclampsia Foundation’s mission is to provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research and improve health care practices. We envision a world where preeclampsia no longer threatens the lives of mothers and babies. Knowing the warning signs can lead to more timely diagnosis and better outcomes. Learn more about why awareness is so important, and if you’re pregnant and need information or support, the Preeclampsia Foundation’s community forum can help. For more information, please visit www.preeclampsia.org.
Thanks to RM reader Katie for sending us information about this event.