As the temperatures continue to rise this summer, we look south of the border to a grandmother making a difference all the way from the beaches of the Caribbean. For years Sandy Coder has collected sea glass from the beaches near her house in Mexico. After lots of practice drilling tiny holes in the glass, she created the first "Eva's Angel" in memory of her granddaughter that was lost prematurely at 22 weeks due to preeclampsia and HELLP in 2007 (read Eva's story here).
Coder said, "When I am working on drilling the holes or putting these together, it is a constant reminder of the huge toll preeclampsia takes on a family." All of the materials are donated by their family and the proceeds of each Eva's Angel sold goes to the Preeclampsia Foundation. This year, Eva's Angels were available for purchase at the Rochester, Minn. Promise Walk, where Coder's daughter Eliza, Eva's mother lives. For more information on ordering an Eva's Angel, please contact Sandy Coder.
Grandmother Cynthia Streets also found a way to make a difference and remember her granddaughter, Madi Rae: a memorial bowl-a-thon in Rome, New York on June 17 to benefit the Foundation. Madi Rae was born 16 weeks early on June 30, 2011 and passed away on July 2, 2011 (read Madi's story here).
"I wanted to do something, anything, hoping to make a difference to help someone else," said Streets. Their family plans on making the Bowl-a-Thon an annual tradition to celebrate the short life and long legacy of Madi Rae. "I am very proud of it, and next year we will do so much better!"
The impact of preeclampsia on grandparents, no matter the outcome, is often overlooked. They stand by our bedsides when we are sick, hold our hands when the news isn't good and usually are the best cheerleaders and supporters that we have. They feel the pain of their own children's sadness, plus their own grief of losing a grandchild. Thank you to all the grandparents out there that continue to make a difference!