First...today I have to thank Elizabeth and Shawn Stamey. Elizabeth hijacked my key and cleaned the office. I was not sure I was in the same place. Shawn cleaned up the computers and is working on networking them and removing, shall we say, remnants of my teenage boys borrowing them. Sigh. Thank you Shawn and Elizabeth (and Indigo who is adorable!!)
This will just be a running thank you because I cannot keep up.
Second: Thank you so much to Laura who is just makes my work a joy. Every morning she sends me an email with the "critical" stuff and I can post where I am most needed. She is also an incredible watchdog for the PF and constantly surfing and finding the good news and bad news about the world of preeclampsia. She keeps me on my toes and I wouldn't be able to do this without her. If I could--I would pay her a very very very good salary (with health benefits) because she deserves it. Thank you.
Third: I tease her constantly (and she tosses it back) but Catherine is my voice of reason and a great resource for those of us on the forum. She also put up with me moving her from house to house during the conference and taught me how to make proper Irish tea. I was lost before then. Both she and Laura keep me in stitches (it seems wrong to enjoy this work--but maybe they make the challenge of reading daily about losing women, babies and hope just a bit easier.) Thank you Catherine...(we call her the Captain...it is a long story...but essentially...she is another underpaid (ie 100% volunteer) who makes this work possible.
Eleni: our Director of Communications--she just keeps on top of everything and anything that is PR related. She tracks me down for an interview, she coaches me, she tracks down doctors for a quote, she is amazing. AND she is 100% volunteer. (Seeing a trend here?)
Dr. Easterling: Our Medical Director--he emails me daily, he thinks about the "vision" of the PF, he thinks about what is not only in our best interest but also what is in the best interest of the women we serve. He is an extraordinary human being, a good friend, and someone who has never received a DIME from us. His research is not funded by us, and yet he continues to give to us 110% when he has a full-time job, a wife and two kids. We are lucky to have him.
Dr. Lindheimer: Our wonderful advocate and one of the top doctors in this field. I can't say enough about Marshall. (I get to call him Marshall). He raises money for us (none from drug companies...so far), he donates his own time and money, he answers tons of Ask the Expert questions, he calls to share insight on research, he talks to the press. And he is 100% volunteer.
Drs August, Martin, Repke, Roberts, Sibai, etc...all volunteer. We don't support their research. Drug companies don't either.
The great moderators, our chapter coordinator Carol, our IT directors Paul and Ileana, our local support...I could go on and on (and I will, don't tempt me) but I want to remind you all...that we are 100% volunteer. We do not pay anyone. I received a small salary this year but am now full-time volunteer. And why is that? because we do not receive the support of drug companies. ANY of them. Because drug companies do not want to support something that is dealing with pregnancy.
So while preeclampsia continues to be underfunded, our little organization is run entirely and exclusively on the tireless energy of people who "GET it". It would be nice, frankly, to have the funding of a drug company so that we could pay people like Laura and Catherine and Carrie and so we could pay for brochures and magnets, and t-shirts and the office space, and tech support. We are a little organization with some 1600 members on our forum and 1300 registered, some 50,000 visitors a month. We ran last year on less than $200,000 a year--or approximately $1 per woman who has the disease every year in the USA. As an fyi--one brochure costs about $1. There are 4 Million births in the USA alone. Figuring out how to get that one brochure (which thanks to the Dresher Foundation, we now have) into the hands of those 200,000 women--that takes more than volunteer energy. That takes money.
We appreciate more than you can possibly know those who have supported and who continue to support the PF and the work we do--both with your time and with your financial support. The reality is that things cost money. Doing this costs money. Preventing babies from dying costs money. I hate asking for money as much as the next person--but you know--I don't hate it more than I hate reading about another baby who has died--or another husband who is taking home his baby but not his wife. That is something I hate. Please help us all face this fear. Not asking won't raise money. Asking will...and raising money saves lives. So I am asking you to give...because I hate NOT asking more than I hate asking.
to donate online please go to our homepage at www.preeclampsia.org and click on the DONATE button. To send a check, please write us at
12727 NE 20th Street, Suite 16
Bellevue, WA 98005