In the words of 17th century English poet John Donne, "No man is an island"... and in the world of fundraising, this is doubly true. The incredible success of the Promise Walks each year is due in no small part to the ability of local walk coordinators and participants to gather their friends and families together and spread the infectious hope for the future that is at the fundamental core of the Promise Walk.
But how does a walk move from helping the Foundation fund a single local education campaign (around $2,000) all the way to funding an entire Vision Research Grant ($25,000)? The answer is the passion and drive of team work! So if you haven't already, start a team and read the following tips on making a big difference:
1) Have a Plan. Set a reasonable goal and make a list of people who would potentially support your efforts. For instance,
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on February 06, 2012 by Administrator
For Dallas-area volunteer Nicole Purnell, fundraising for the Preeclampsia Foundation is nothing new: she is currently in her fourth year as the Dallas-Ft. Worth Promise Walk Coordinator. So when she and her family decided to do another fundraiser for the Foundation, they decided to try something entirely different, and catered to their home state of Texas: a clay-shooting tournament to be held March 10.
"Of course, I realize that shooting clays is not an activity for everyone's taste, but this IS Texas after all!" explained Purnell. In organizing the event, she and her stepfather, who is co-hosting the tournament, realized that this would be a unique opportunity to pull in a different crowd than that of the Promise Walks for fundraising and awareness.
"My stepdad is a retired Navy SEAL and has many friends who enjoy clay shooting," Purnell said. "I had been wanting to do a clay shoot event for some time, and then, one day I got my daily Groupon ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on February 04, 2012 by Administrator
Perinatal Outreach Educator Networks (POENs) are generally funded by individual states to provide perinatal (the care offered to a mother and child just before and just after birth) medical education to health care providers in the region, enhancing the quality of care for mothers and infants and reducing morbidity and mortality. Specialists share their experience and knowledge with other physicians and community hospitals across regions by offering or facilitating programs such as physician and nurse consultation services, continuing education for health care professionals, emergency medical transport for referring hospitals within the region, consultation and technical assistance on emerging perinatal issues, and sometimes even lending libraries.
For example, in Illinois, there are 10 perinatal centers designated by the state. Rush Hospital in Chicago is home to the the largest network, involving 18 hospitals delivering more than 30,000 infants. The Rush Perinatal ...
Our seventh annual Saving Grace dinner gala fundraiser took place in Manhattan on the evening of Saturday, November 12. It was simply a wonderful evening, replete with raw emotion, inspirational stories, hope and gratitude. Together with The Foundation for America's Blood Centers, another worthy charity dedicated to saving the lives of mothers and babies, we reached a broad and extremely engaged audience of almost 500 guests. With the support of so many individuals and our event sponsors - Johnson & Johnson, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Merck, Abbott and many others - we grossed nearly $550,000 to support the vital missions of our organizations!
Our theme this ...
Some of the most important participants at the Promise Walks for Preeclampsia are healthcare providers who come out to support the Foundation. Many are community physicians and nurses who treat preeclampsia on a regular basis. The Promise Walk is an annual event held in numerous cities that allows the preeclampsia community to come together and mourn their losses, celebrate their hopes, and work together toward the common goal of raising money to fund research and create awareness.
Many Promise Walks invite healthcare providers to speak about their own professional experience with preeclampsia. That provider brings their own professional validation to the need for awareness and research, while giving attendees hope, knowing that there are medical professionals working diligently to solve the "preeclampsia puzzle."
So what causes these health care providers to be so passionate for the preeclampsia cause and to join our efforts at the Promise Walks? To provide ...
As a woman, you may feel that you are expected to do it all: career, family, community responsibilities. A high-risk pregnancy can make those responsibilities seem especially magnified as you try to square everything away before taking maternity leave or while on bed rest. For women facing a high-risk pregnancy (whether because of a previous preeclampsia experience or for other concerns) and caught up in the "Super Woman" mentality, you can lose sight of your own needs, goals, and most of all health. It can be challenging to make time to take care of you, a fact to which many preeclampsia survivors who missed the warning signs will attest. The day can slip away without taking a break to assess your physical and mental well-being. Nevertheless, for a patient who may face potential pregnancy complications, focusing on your care should be paramount!
Posted in Heard on the Hill on October 05, 2011 by Administrator
The Foundation is closely tracking and providing perspective to Congressional efforts related to maternal and neonatal health and well-being, especially as they may impact preeclampsia awareness and related care. Two pieces of legislation of interest are the PREEMIE (Prematurity Research Expansion and Education) Reauthorization Act and the Birth Defects Prevention, Risk Reduction and Awareness Act.
The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act, sponsored by Reps. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), would expand research, education and intervention activities as they relate to preterm birth. The legislation will also work to promote the use of evidence-based standards of care for pregnant women. The original PREEMIE Act was signed into law in December 2006, and the programs supported through the law at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies and subsequent resources provided to ...
Posted in Media on October 05, 2011 by Administrator
I have always been a fan of the movies; I enjoy escaping into a dark theater to watch a story unfold before me on the big screen. In fact, I am sitting down to write this after enjoying a trip to the movies with my family to see Dolphin Tale, a terrific story that had my six-year-old daughter both enthralled and teary-eyed when she saw the hurt dolphin who we would come to know as Winter. I hope some of the passion and determination exhibited by Sawyer Nelson (played by Nathan Gamble) sunk in with her and she will someday find her own calling (other than Barbies!) that inspires her in a similarly compassionate and blindly hopeful way.
True stories can be more mind-blowing to an audience and more captivating to Hollywood filmmakers than fiction. These films - and their stories - in turn, can motivate others to act in inspired ways. In particular, big screen messages of medical empowerment can have an impact on audiences. The real life inspiration for the film Lorenzo's ...
Are you someone who has faced the loss of someone you love because of a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy? Perhaps it was your child or your spouse, a close friend or relative. Whatever the relationship, aside from the pain of the loss, you may also be confronting feelings of guilt or shame.
You may wonder 'Why did I survive and my child did not?', or 'Why did my child survive and my friend's child perish when we both went through a similar circumstance?' You may even feel responsible for the death by thinking there must have been something you could have done to change the outcome. Processing these feelings can be isolating, hurtful and leave you wondering how to go on with life. This is known as survivor guilt.
As devastating as your situation may ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on September 05, 2011 by Administrator
1. What was your experience with preeclampsia?
My partner and I had tried for a couple of years to conceive our first child, and finally succeeded in 2009. I felt fabulous during the pregnancy, except that I developed an annoying cough that got more frequent and more productive as the months went on. I mentioned it a hundred times to my doctor, but he always shrugged it off, saying pregnant women often have excess mucus. At 7 months along, I expressed concern to my doctor that I had only gained 12 pounds, but again, he said it was not a problem. Based on my gut instinct that something wasn't right, I insisted on an ultrasound that day, which showed my son was severely growth restricted. He was delivered that night (at 31 weeks) via c-section. He weighed 1 lb 15 oz. We named him Mack. Despite showing all signs of doing great for over a week, Mack developed an infection in the hospital and died when he was 10 days old. I was later diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia (high ...
Posted in Research on September 01, 2011 by Administrator
Filtering the Factors
A new therapy may be developed for very preterm preeclampsia patients, if the results of a small pilot study are confirmed in a larger trial. Researchers have been looking for a safe way to prolong pregnancy by at least the 48 hours needed to allow steroid shots to mature fetal lungs. (Each safe extra day in utero eliminates two or three days in NICU, and means higher survival rates for many of the babies affected by preeclampsia.)
In 2003 a paper published by Dr. Ananth Karumanchi in the Journal of Clinical Investigation presented evidence that a protein named soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase (sFlt-1) caused many of the symptoms in preeclampsia. Karumanchi studied the placentas from preeclamptic pregnancies and found that they were producing far more sFlt-1 than the placentas from normal pregnancies. The protein binds to another protein and compromises the repair of blood vessels, leading to many of the symptoms such as ...
Losing a child is one of the hardest life experiences anyone can endure and can be difficult for other to understand. Add in the trauma of preeclampsia and your emotional shoulders may not be big enough. Who can you turn to that really understands everything you have gone through? The Preeclampsia Foundation offers several avenues of support.
The Patient Support Network is made up of volunteer members that have each lost a child. Each member has a different experience and viewpoint that enables the network to offer specific support based on each family's circumstances. Since its creation in February, the group has responded to 13 families that have recently lost a baby due to preeclampsia. Through condolence cards, phone calls and emails, the group listens and walks besides families during the darkest days of their grief journey. To contact the Patient Support network, simply call our toll-free line at 800-665-9341 or email
By Executive Director Eleni Tsigas
How do you thoughtfully make a decision about medical matters? Especially when there is no clearly prescribed course of action supported by strong research, professional organizations, and universally accepted guidelines? For the majority of us who don't have medical degrees, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information we are expected to know as a consumer of health care. So, how can you discuss or evaluate potential preeclampsia interventions with your doctor?
Use the BRA formula:
B for Benefit: What's the potential benefit of trying to prevent preeclampsia with low dose aspirin/Lovenox/Atenolol/vitamin D or other interventions -- all with varying degrees of evidence? Could this intervention prevent preeclampsia, delay its onset, or lower your chances of getting it? And when you consider those benefits, make sure you understand the difference between having a 50 percent reduction and a ...
The 2011 Promise Walk has come to an amazing close and the Preeclampsia Foundation is already looking toward 2012! Have you considered hosting or volunteering at a walk? Even if you have just few hours to volunteer, we need you! Join us for the first Promise Walk planning call of the 2012 season on September 13 to learn about what it means to organize a Promise Walk, or email National Walk Director Becky Sloan about how you can support the efforts.
In 2011, Promise Walks were held in 24 locations, and for 2012, we are looking for eager volunteers who are interested in creating even more new walk sites or in volunteering a few hours to help an existing walk be successful. Organizing a Promise Walk is a little like a planning a party…if you’ve put on a birthday party or organized a wedding you are likely qualified to plan a Promise Walk!
There are five main components of helping to organize a successful Promise Walk: Logistics, Sponsorships, Registration, ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on August 03, 2011 by Administrator
Planning and organizing a Promise Walk and 5K Run are no easy task, but the contributions of critical sponsors and donors makes it all worthwhile. For the Chicago event, local sponsors do more than contribute financially, as is evident by these diverse conributions:
One of the local Chicago suburban hospitals, Northwest Community Hospital and a stationery company sales associate, Dee Dee McCoy, contributed financially as Gold Sponsors. Runners High 'n Tri, a popular local running store, provided bibs for Walk and race participants and two days of packet pick-up; DJ Eric Rain of Hanover Park and AMP Entertainment kept the crowd upbeat by spinning tunes and entertaining our many families and kids; CTI Industries of Lake Barrington donated more than 100 colorful, helium balloons; WomanCare OBGYN offices of Palatine, donated giveaways for goodie bags and high-dollar raffle prizes, and the local T-Mobile helped staff the day-of registration booth with a hotspot that enabled ...
The live auction at Saving Grace - A Night of Hope is lively and energizing. Shrieks of laughter and good natured competition inspire the audience to interact and bid high, receiving a fun and exciting trip, package or unique experience in return. These prizes are supplied by the overwhelming generosity and connections of our auction donors...individuals and businesses like you!
At this year's New York City Saving Grace on November 12, we plan to again include some fantastic prizes, with proceeds going to fund research and education programs of the Preeclampsia Foundation and the Foundation for America's Blood Centers, but we need your help! The Manhattan planning committee wants to outdo all previous events and is looking for charming live auction items for donation: trips, sports packages, luxury hotel and restaurant accommodations, jewelry, original artwork, are all popular prizes that ...
More than 50 comments emerged from a recent Facebook post to describe how preeclampsia changed the way you live. Women who had delivered prematurely, lost their baby, or lost their adult daughters to the disease responded with various tales about the shortness of life and how nothing should be taken for granted. Together, the posts tell a story of how people learn to live again after being struck by preeclampsia. Many families are given a lifetime of lessons in one fell swoop - complete and staggering and with instant illumination, whereas others acquire the same lessons on a small scale through a series of lifelong events that gradually come together like a mosaic of many pieces. Respondents commented on how their experience "put things in perspective" and how they have a "new outlook on life."
Not surprisingly, for many, it was an eye-opening experience that called attention to the fragility of human existence. One respondent commented, "Now, I see the truth and I am ...
This was the biggest year in Promise Walk history, with more walks, more participants, and the most funds ever raised! Promise Walks were held in 24 cities in 19 different states and raised more than $271,000 for the Preeclampsia Foundation, with 2300 participants nationwide. Our largest walk hosted around 300 people. State governors and mayors proclaimed preeclampsia awareness day in 13 states and cities.
Many special tributes and fun features made each walk an inspirational and unique event. Butterfly releases in San Diego and Boston, a dove release in San Jose, survivor sashes in North Conway, personalized mile markers in Chicago, and a special feature with the Field of Cradles exhibit in Boston made each walk inspiring. Some of the fun features included face painting for kids and adults, and specialized desserts like Promise Walk heart cookies and "feet" cakes!
Walk participants at a few locations were treated to special guest ...
Amy Robbins-Wilson, the lullaby singer from Maine who wrote three songs for the “I Gave You Words”/Field of Cradles art exhibit, will be singing for participants of the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ in South Boston on Sunday, July 24th. Her performance will be a highlight for both children and adults present at the walk, and will be dedicated to the many babies lost each year, including the babies memorialized in the Field of Cradles exhibit, displayed at this year’s Promise Walk.
The Field of Cradles display is a poignant reminder to all that pass by, a grassy field of empty cradles, each representing a baby that has lost his or her life to preeclampsia. Inside each cradle lies a blanket with a poem on it written to and for that child, while Robbins-Wilson’s gentle lullabies play in the background.
Deeply moved by her involvement with the Field of Cradles exhibit and the words of ...
Whether it's a backyard barbeque in Dad's honor, hot dogs in the park or a play date at the swings, summer is the time to turn off the television and enjoy the easy spirit of extended daylight. It's also when we reconnect with our neighbors and friends... but it can also be a great fundraising and awareness opportunity!
Not only is it fun, but neighborhood yard sales and block party picnics are great chances for people to learn about preeclampsia and contribute to the work of the Foundation. Here's how to enjoy the sun and organize a local neighborhood block party:
- Invite each family to provide a side dish. Ask the manager of your local grocery store, hotdog stand or ice cream shop to donate food, water, or a sheet cake. With enough notice, most will be happy to get behind a community charity event.
- Line up activities like Frisbee, water balloon toss, face painting, basketball, family sack races, or inflatable bounce rental.
- Host in ...